Our Blog in Shakopee, MN



Well it’s that time of year when most people aren’t thinking about their asphalt needs, but the people here at Plehal Blacktopping are! We are gearing up for the 2017 paving season. Please join us at the Minneapolis Home Show. It’s 2 weekends again this year February 24th through February 26th & March 3rd through March 5th. We will be in booth #1152. We look forward to seeing you there.

Please feel free to contact us if you would like an estimate or have questions about asphalt. Remember you can use salt on asphalt to melt Ice!

Real Asphalt Facts

625 B.C.
The first recorded use of asphalt used as road-building material in Babylon. Back then, the ancient Greeks were also familiar with asphalt. The word asphalt originates from the Greek "asphaltos," meaning "secure." The Romans also used it to seal their reservoirs, baths and aqueducts

Europeans exploring the New World discovered many natural deposits of asphalt. Sir Walter Raleigh described a "plain" (or lake) of asphalt near the island of Trinidad, close to Venezuela. He used it for the re-caulking of his ships.

Early 1800s
Thomas Telford built 900+ miles of roads in Scotland, perfecting the method of building roads using broken stones. His contemporary, John Loudon McAdam, used broken stone joined to create a hard surface to build a Scottish turnpike. Later, to eliminate dust and maintenance, builders used hot tar to join the broken stones together, producing "tarmacadam" pavements.

Belgian chemist Edmund J. DeSmedt laid the first actual asphalt pavement in the U.S. in Newark, N.J. DeSmedt also paved Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. – using 54,000 square yards of sheet asphalt from the Trinidad Lake. The Cummer Company established the first central hot mix production facilities in the U.S. The very first asphalt patent was filed by Nathan B. Abbott of Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1871.


Frederick J. Warren filed a patent for "Bitulithic" pavement, a combination of bitumen and aggregate ("bitu" from "bitumen" and "lithic" from "lithos," this is a Greek word for rock). The very first modern asphalt facility was constructed in 1901 by Warren Brothers in East Cambridge, Mass.

The production of refined petroleum asphalt outstripped the use of natural asphalt. As cars grew in popularity, the demand for more roads led to innovations in both producing and laying asphalt. The first steps toward mechanization included drum mixers. Portland cement concrete mechanical spreaders was used for the first machine-laid asphalt.

During World War II, asphalt technology improved greatly, spurred by a need of military airplanes for surfaces that could stand up to heavier loads.

The National Bituminous Concrete Association (forerunner of the National Asphalt Pavement Association or NAPA) was created. One of the very first activities: a Quality Improvement Program, which sponsored asphalt testing at universities and at private testing labs.

Congress passed the Interstate Highways Act, allotting $51,000,000,000 to the states for new road construction. Contractors needed better and bigger equipment. Innovations since then have included electronic leveling controls, extra-wide finishers paving two lanes at once and vibratory steel-wheel rollers.

The national energy crisis created the need for conservation of natural resources. Since that time, a huge amount of recycled asphalt has been included in mixes. Today, asphalt pavement is America's most recycled material having more than 70 million metric tons of asphalt paving material is recycled each year.

NAPA created the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) at Auburn University, Alabama, providing a centralized, systematic approach to asphalt research. NCAT recently opened a brand new research center and test track and is now the world's leading institution for asphalt pavement research.

The EPA announced that asphalt plants are not on its list of industries considered major sources of hazardous air pollutants.

Approximately 330,000 people in the U.S. are employed by the asphalt industry today.

Rubber from old tires, roofing shingles and older asphalt roads can be recycled and used again in making asphalt pavement.

You can find natural deposits of asphalt in many lakes.

Asphalt pavement was first introduced in America during the year of 1870.

80% of old asphalt pavement that is removed each year is re-used.

Asphalt pavement is the most recycled (re-used) product in America - more than newspaper, aluminum cans, or glass.

*Reference: BeyondRoads.com

Traveling pavers will often roam the country trying to pull “bait and switch” tactics on property owners. Their classic line usually goes something like this, “We are paving another job a few blocks down and we have just enough extra material left to pave your driveway if you like.” Do not fall for this. Reputable contractors will rarely try to beat down doors for their business. Gypsies will never do what they say they will do, and they will never come back and fix a shoddy job of theirs. There are a few things you can do if approached by a suspected gypsy outfit:
  1. You can contact your local BBB to check their status as a known business.
  2. You can ask to see the person’s driver license.
  3. You can check to see if they have a website. Investigate their website to see if there are any local references.
  4. You can look in your area Yellow Pages to see if the company has a listing.
  5. You should be very assertive with them by asking, “If you are such a great paving company, then why do you have so much material left over?” Then conclude with, “An experienced contractor should have that much leftover material.”
  6. You can analyze the name on the trucks. Gypsies will typically use names with terms such as: Statewide, Nationwide, Town and Country, Countryside, and Citywide. They will do this to blend into large regions.
  7. Also, they will always want to be paid in cash, or a check written to their personal name.
  8. You can look at the license plates on the trucks. They will usually be out of your state.
  9. Check if they have a local phone number as a primary contact instead of an (800) number or foreign area code?
  10. You should always demand to have all agreements made in writing and in contract form.

We never want our potential clients or current clients served badly. We are here locally to assist people to the best of our ability, whether we do the work or not. Please be aware of the company you are dealing with. Make common sense conclusions about their offers to protect your best interests.

*Reference Creve Coeur Paving

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