To understand the story of Laurel Asphalt, you have to start at the top and the beginning. Aggregate Management Inc. is the corporate headquarters for a collection of aggregate, asphalt, concrete and block companies at various locations in Maryland and West Virginia. The company was originally founded as Laurel Sand & Gravel Inc. (LS&G) in 1982 in Laurel, MD, after the Gould Family purchased the Laurel operations formerly known as Contee Sand and Gravel.
Laurel Asphalt is a D.B.A division of LS&G. From 1982-1991 the asphalt plant was leased to others.
In 1991, LS&G decided to venture into the “pick-up” asphalt manufacturing business.
“We felt there was a market for the small to medium asphalt contractor who had no manufacturing capability of their own as well as expand the reach of those that did manufacture,” says Husain M. Rashid, asphalt manager with LS&G. “There was no asphalt manufacturer whose sole purpose was to cater to these contractors without competing on the contracting side.”
Still in operation, this “pick up” location, located on Van Dusen Road in Laurel, MD, provides quality asphalt mixes to state, county and private projects. It operates a 300-tph H&B (Hetherington & Berner) batch plant with three 250-ton silos.
In January 2000, the company replaced its five outdated silos with three new Dillman silos for the H&B 4-ton batch plant. Lab facilities were built and an experienced staff put in place.
“Since 2000, Laurel Asphalt has succeeded in supplying quality HMA products, providing technical support and trucking resources to the smaller contractor,” says Rashid. “This allowed contractors to grow and compete for public work such as state, county or even federal contracts.”
Today, Laurel Asphalt produces 300,000 to 350,000 tons per year from this 1962 H&B batch plant.
Three years ago Laurel Asphalt decided to move forward with adding a facility.
“The new location in Elkridge was chosen because it bordered the market area of our Laurel location, extending our reach to the north and east,” says Rashid.
The newest, state-of-the-art asphalt plant in Elkridge, MD opened for business in September 2013.
The new plant is somewhat a hybrid, explains Rashid.
“When Astec Industries purchased Dillman Equipment, we wanted to merge, what we felt, were the best capabilities of both companies,” he says. “We purchased a 400-tph Double Rap Duo Drum plant. We have three 300-ton silos, seven cold feed bins and two RAP (reclaimed asphalt pavement) bins.
“We also added warm mix using Astec’s G2 Green System,” he continues. “Plant controls are the Astec TC 2000.”
Like a good neighbor …
While building this plant, Rashid says the focus was on creating a facility that was clean and respectable for the surrounding community. The company listened to concerns from the local community before building of the plant began.
“At the Air Quality hearing, the neighbors’ concerns were taken into consideration and changes were made to accommodate these concerns,” he says.
Traffic in and out of the plant location was another challenge. “Truck traffic patterns were a big issue,” he says. “We have taken steps to ensure no trucks would enter the community. Jake brakes are not used, and trucks do not bang their tailgates.
The locals were also concerned about the possible smells coming from the asphalt plant.
“The tops of our asphalt tanks are at ground level with the neighboring community,” explains Rashid. “To prevent smells from encroaching into the neighborhood, we installed condensers on the tanks. We also use Ecosorb to help eliminate smell from the liquid asphalt.”
Ecosorb products, from OMI Industries, use natural ingredients to eliminate industrial smells without the need for harsh chemicals or masking fragrances. These odor neutralizers work by adsorption, absorption, gas solubility and reaction. When diluted with water and broadcast via atomization, the tiny water droplets created contain a thin oil skin that creates an electrostatic charge. This charge facilitates adsorption of the malodor molecules onto the droplet surface. The gas is absorbed by the droplet (solubility) and held.
Noise was another concern. “The drive chains for the silos are in oil baths to reduce noise,” says Rashid. “Air gates were also installed with baffles to reduce noise.”
The entire site, including the stockpile area, was paved to reduce dust.
At both the locations, Laurel Asphalt caters to small and large contractors, and is certified to produce materials for the State of Maryland and all surrounding counties. Lab personnel are N.I.C.E.T. certified and can provide assistance with any related testing specifications.
Concludes Rashid, “We are proud of our new facility, and it is our belief that we can continue to provide a quality product and superior service to our customers while preserving the beauty and peacefulness of the surrounding community.”