Mobile Asphalt Company LLC: Using Asphalt to Connect Communities
- Written by: Mobile Asphalt Company LLC: Using Asphalt to Connect Communities
- Produced by: Mobile Asphalt Company LLC: Using Asphalt to Connect Communities
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Drivers along any of the roads in southwestern Alabama are likely to have Mobile Asphalt Company LLC (MAC) to thank for a smooth ride. The company has spent much of its 20-year history ensuring that regional connectors and major expressways are safe and smooth. MAC leverages a network of cold and hot asphalt production plants to reach jobsites that would otherwise be uneconomical to pave. Above all, MAC succeeds by investing in the safety of its experienced and tenured professionals and also by investing in technologies that make asphalt production and roadway resurfacing more efficient, comfortable, more durable and more environmentally friendly.
“We specialize in asphalt production and paving, especially on large jobs that require a lot of coordination,” expands John Whitman, vice president of project management at MAC. Whitman joined the company fresh out of college over 16 years ago. Since then Whitman has witnessed the company grow from a smaller asphalt producer and paver to a full-service supplier and applier on road-building and related work on state highways, roads, airports and commercial sites. MAC is among the handful of experienced asphalt pavers in the state that continue to top the list for public- and private-sector projects.
MAC operates headquarters in Theodore, Ala., in Mobile County, along with asphalt plants and support offices in Baldwin, Washington and Clarke Counties. All four of MAC’s plants produce hot-mix asphalt under strict regulations set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Adhering to these strict regulations ensures not only that every ounce of asphalt produced – whether super pave, polymer-modified or EZ-Street cold – is safe for applications in high-traffic areas, but also that asphalt production has a minimal impact on the local air quality.
Putting Employees First
It’s also just one more way that MAC works to protect its most valuable resource: its employees. Fully licensed, insured and bonded in Alabama and Mississippi, MAC self-performs roughly 90 percent of the contracted work, according to Whitman’s estimates, and much of that is for either a state Department of Transportation or a municipality that requires the work be performed at night and in high-traffic areas. “Just knowing the dangers of our worksites is enough to keep me up at night,” chuckles Whitman. With over 100 employees, plus a reputation of high performance and sterling safety practices to uphold, MAC conducts regular safety training programs to ensure every employee is kept on his or her toes. The MAC team kicks off new projects with a site-specific safety primer, in addition to the standard monthly safety reviews, weekly meetings and daily refreshers.
Continually revisiting safety practices allows MAC to address new concerns expressed by the client, as well as new regulations set by local, regional and federal authorities. “The specifications set by the local transportation authorities are always changing, so we have to be ready to adapt,” adds Whitman. MAC goes beyond just compliance to ensure the safety and well being of its talented professionals, though. Qualifying full-time employees also have access to a company health insurance plan, a 401(k) savings plan, and disability and life insurance plans designed to provide a complete safety net.
MAC’s complete commitment to safe working strategies is just one of the reasons the company has a long list of loyal clients in both public and private sectors. Previously completed projects include paving the much-needed Foley Beach Express, which connects Foley, Ala., to the seaside towns of Gulf Shores, Perdido Key and Orange Beach, Ala. The total roadway only runs 13.5 miles, but MAC wound up paving closer to 30 miles of the four-lane route when accounting for both directions of traffic, all ancillary medians, exits and entrances. This project garnered the company the Build Alabama Award from the Associated General Contractors in 2001.
Primed to Pave
Other highlights include extensive paving to the runways at Jack Edwards National Airport in Gulf Shores, Ala., and completing critical drainage improvement work along I-10 at the George C, Wallace Tunnel in Mobile. The tunnel was built entirely underwater and only pumped dry after construction, and the passing years required subsequent drainage improvements to ensure safe, dry travel conditions within the tunnel.
MAC more recently put its skills to the test resurfacing a full nine miles of highway along I-65, from the junction with I-10 in Mobile, Ala., to just north of the road’s intersection with Highway 45. MAC landed the contract in late July 2011 and was charged with beginning work on the $22 million project by August 2011. The 15-month project involved the gamut of planning, repaving and road striping. MAC was also challenged to complete all work requiring lane closures to be completed between 9:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. to avoid major commute times and congestion.
So far all signs point to a wealth of activity opening up for MAC. According to Whitman, MAC landed all of four total projects the team pursued in April 2012. President Obama’s signing into effect of the $105 billion transportation bill in July 2012 could also boost opportunity in Alabama. No matter where opportunity arises, though, Mobile Asphalt Company LLC is primed and well-positioned to take part in an asphalt paving push of any size, ensuring all work meets the company’s strict quality and safety standards and leads to hot, black, sticky success.
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