We decided to go with a high-rap capability to accommodate future dot increases.

—Mark Painter, general manager, Superior Paving Corp.


Superior Paving Corp. has been maintaining Virginia Department of Transportation’s northern highways and interstates for the past 40 years. In fact, Superior has paved most of the area’s major arteries, including I-66, I-495, and I-95, with Virginia DOT being Superior’s largest customer.

With 10 asphalt plants, including a new Astec 500 TPH Double Barrel XHR (high reclaimed asphalt), to support its own eight paving crews working on agency projects, along with independent paving contractors working on commercial and private projects, Superior continues to build a strong reputation as a top tier paving contractor. Since its inception in 1976, the asphalt producer and paving contractor has played an active role with both state and national asphalt associations, and has been recognized for the quality of its work, leadership, skilled employees, and customer responsiveness.

Currently, VDOT allows 35 percent RAP content in base course mixes and 30 percent RAP in surface course mix designs, but Superior decided to buy a plant that could produce mixes with as much as 60 percent RAP.

RAP is the future

The plant is equipped with an Astec Twin Shaft Mixer to ensure all mix designs are blended for maximum binder coating quality. An Astec warm mix system allows production of warm mix asphalt.

“We decided to go with a high-RAP capability to accommodate any future increase the DOT may allow, as well as having the ability to serve private projects that will allow a higher RAP content,” explains Mark Painter, general manager of asphalt plants.

Painter, who’s been with Superior since 1990 and manager of all asphalt plants since 2007, says 75 percent of asphalt produced at the company is placed by the company’s paving crews, with the remainder sold to independent paving contractors. Superior maintains a fleet of 60 trucks to supply asphalt to its project, and often hires an additional 20 independent drivers during peak paving operations. The company also supplies mix to approximately 20 different paving companies who arrive daily at the company’s plants for mix to complete their paving projects.

“Seven of our 10 plants are Astec and most of our plants can produce mix with as much as 50 percent RAP content,” Painter notes. “We have produced mix with as much as 40 percent RAP for private projects, so we decided to invest in a plant that can produce high-RAP mixes, because we believe RAP usage will continue to grow as government agencies and private customers see the value and performance advantages of using RAP mixes.”

Eighty percent of Superior’s recycled asphalt material comes from its own milling operation. Most projects only require the top surface course be milled off before a new surface can be placed. The old oxidized material is hauled back to one of Superior’s plants to be crushed, separated and eventually added to new mixes used in base or surface mix designs.

The Bull Run facility

Superior located its new plant in Bull Run, just west of Washington D.C. and approximately five miles from another one of its plants, which is located in a quarry that will eventually be shut down in several years.

“We know that plant will have to be re-located to one of our other plant locations, so we wanted to get this new plant running to prevent any disruption of production in this part of our market,” Painter says.

Mix is stored in four 300-ton insulated silo, with an option to add two more silos if needed.

Along with the relocatable 500 TPH Double Barrel XHR drum mixer, fired by a Phoenix Talon 125 MBTU/hr. combination burner, Superior equipped the plant with an Astec twin shaft mixer to ensure all mix designs, hot and warm, are blended for maximum binder coating quality.

The drum is fed by eight cold feed bins and three RAP bins.

“There are so many mix designs required to meet agency specifications and if a bin goes down, we just wanted to make sure our feed system would keep our drum supplied,” Painter says.

We’re anxious to get the plant up to full production. It will be a great addition.

—Mark Painter, general manager, Superior Paving Corp.


Other significant components include three 30,000-gal. vertical Heatec liquid asphalt binder tanks heated by a Heatec gas/oil fired oil heater, a 20,000-gal. vertical tack tank, a 20,000-gal. vertical emulsion tank, and a 23,500-gal. vertical #2 fuel tank to supply the drum burner as well as the dump trucks.

Mix is stored in four 300-ton long term storage silos, with the option to add two additional silos. A 95,892 CFM Pulse baghouse filters and recycles dust from the aggregate supply back into the mix production. The entire plant is managed from the 11 ft. 6 in. by 40 ft. pilot control center with a TCII HMA PLC Control System.

This new plant includes the Astec V-Pac stack temperature control system, which features variable speed drives (VSD). Painter explains, “We went with VSD on our drum to control the stack temperature and a VSD on the mixer to have better control when adding binder in the mixing process. We’re anxious to get the plant up to full production. We believe it will be a great addition to our other production facilities.”