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January 22, 2016

SCAPA Turns 50!

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The South Carolina Asphalt Pavement Association turns the big 5-0 in 2016. The association was founded in 1966 by ten forward-thinking and responsible asphalt plant mix producers who came together and petitioned O. Frank Thorton, then Secretary of State for South Carolina, for an eleemosynary corporation charter in the name of the South Carolina Asphalt Pavement Association. The charter was issued and the Association was born.

In 1966, Robert E. McNair was governor, S.N. Pearman was chief highway commissioner and W.N. Dulin was the district engineer for South Carolina for the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads (now Federal Highway Administration). The interstate highway program was still in its infancy. Only I-85 was completed with I-20, I-26 and I-95 miles from completion. Discussions to extend I-77 to Columbia had not yet begun.

Asphalt plants were either batch or continuous mix and were manually controlled. Drum plants were nonexistent. Automatic grade controls were new to pavers. No one had heard of a vibratory roller for compacting asphalt pavements. The nuclear density gauge for determining roadway density was yet to be invented. Today, all of that equipment with automatic controls is used in the daily production and construction operations.

During the late sixties, commercial passenger jet planes were beginning to be introduced in South Carolina, which triggered runway expansions at our state's major airports. Asphalt was the pavement of choice for that work.

The past 50 years have brought many positive changes to the asphalt paving industry. Today, state-of-the-art plants and paving equipment are used and the design and testing of asphalt is more sophisticated. An increased emphasis on continuing educational programs for asphalt production and construction personnel is preparing the industry for the future years.

"Together we know more," the Association’s motto, best describes the reason for the existence of the South Carolina Asphalt Pavement Association. The Association is a statewide trade association of contractor member-firms engaged in the production of high-quality asphalt pavement. These firms construct all types of environmentally friendly asphalt pavements ranging from tennis courts to airport runways, parking lots, streets and highways.

This year, we plan to celebrate our 50th anniversary at the SCAPA Summer Conference to be held July 21-24, 2016 at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. We hope our members will join us to celebrate this special anniversary. Details regarding registration will be posted on SCAPA’s website in the coming months!


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