We were able to install a new 500 TPH High RAP Double Barrel HMA plant by shutting down two batch plants.

—Ryan Bush, Regional Sales Manager, Astec


If you’re somewhat familiar with The Tully Group, one of the nation’s largest privately held construction firms, then you know investing in quality and productivity is at the core of this perennial player in the Northeast’s infrastructure development. With extensive experience in a wide range of construction projects, including dam and reservoir, environment, large utility, highway, bridge, airport, transit, site work, disaster and recovery, and treatment plants, the Tully Group also has a successful track record in operating asphalt plants.

Established more than 80 years ago, the family-owned company is managed by the third generation of progressive leaders who continue to pursue innovative approaches to best serve customers, while delivering infrastructure solutions in the market. The Tully Group’s Tully Construction Company has been a major asphalt producer/contractor in the New York construction landscape, involved in many prominent projects over the years. It’s recent success in producing and placing high reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) in the New York City Metropolitan area has been instrumental in forming the foundation for the future of its asphalt paving approach in its tri-state market of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

When the Tully Group purchased the Galasso Materials operation in East Granby, CT, from members of the Galasso family in 2015, three batch plants were located at the quarry site. It presented an excellent opportunity to expand operations in Connecticut.

The Double Barrel Drum keeps the six 300-ton storage silos supplied with a variety of mixes.
The 9-ft. by 57-ft. High RAP Double Barrel Drum Mixer can produce mix designs with up to 60 percent recycled asphalt.

“We were able to work with the Galasso operation to install a new 500 TPH High RAP Double Barrel XHR HMA plant at the East Granby quarry by shutting down two batch plants,” notes Astec Regional Sales Manager Ryan Bush.

Current permit guidelines require plants be located away from water sources, schools, and other sensitive areas.

At the East Granby location, the Tully Group made a joint agreement with CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to surrender the operating permits for the two oldest plants on the site as part of CT DEEP’s approval to allow Tully to permit and construct the new Astec high-production drum plant. Asphalt production in Connecticut is based on air permit conditions or plant registrations on a plant-by-plant basis.

This joint effort brought about the replacement of two inefficient plants with cleaner burning, state-of-the-art technology.

Significant Upgrade

Ken Tully, who manages the Tully Group’s asphalt production business, knew exactly what he wanted to replace those two batch plants.

With four paving crews working in Connecticut and the hope to increase RAP in mixes being placed, Tully’s experience with his Astec plant in Queens, NY, was the basis for his new plant in East Granby.

“Ken is very progressive in his NY markets, producing mixes with 60-70 percent RAP content on a daily basis,” Bush says. “In New York City alone, paving projects are required to contain a minimum of 30 percent RAP to meet environmental guidelines.

“Ken’s approach to producing and using high-RAP mixes on a lot of New York projects helped us in developing plant capability that could meet that kind of demand,” Bush adds. “The use of stainless steel and an external mixer with a Double Barrel design all were aided in the development process based on the work Ken was doing with high-RAP projects in his market.”

When you’re producing a 60 percent RAP mix, the initial 40 percent virgin aggregate must be heated to a higher temperature to sufficiently heat the RAP without direct flame. Direct flame on the RAP could burn off some of the existing binder in the RAP material.

“With our plant in Queens, we typically use up to 60 percent RAP on private commercial projects that require a minimum of 50 percent RAP,” Tully notes. “When we were awarded a city parking lot project that was designated a green drainage project, we produced 10,000 tons of high RAP (up to 60 percent) to meet the ‘green’ requirements. We currently use 20 percent RAP on state and federal agency projects, but I see those agencies increasing RAP usage in the future.”

Currently, 80 to 90 percent of Tully’s asphalt work is for road agencies, with the remaining focused on commercial work. “In New York we’re required to use 30 percent RAP on city streets,” Tully states. “In Connecticut we can use 15 percent RAP (up to 20 percent with specific engineer approval) in all surface courses for all road agency work. But as agencies realize the cost benefit of using more RAP, along with the environmental aspects of recycling more material back into a project, I think we’ll see higher RAP designs.”

The 101,225 CFM Pulse Jet Baghouse is equipped with Aramid fiber bags.
Three 10,000-gal. Heatec liquid asphalt tanks keep the plant supplied for maximum production.

Plant Performance

The new 500 TPH plant has been in production since this past July and it’s delivering everything Tully expected. “We ran it at approximately 80 percent of capacity this past season and that supplied most of the material our four paving crews needed on the projects we built. With six 300-ton storage silos, we plan to make this our primary plant, producing 90 percent of all asphalt coming out of the East Granby location,” Tully states. “Eighty percent of all production at that location supports our crews, with the remaining 20 sold to independent asphalt contractors. And with three recycling bins, we’re set up to incorporate as much RAP as agencies and our other customers will allow.”

We plan to make this our primary plant, producing 90 percent of all asphalt coming out of East Granby.

—Ken Tully, asphalt manager, The Tully Group


Other major components supporting the 9-ft. by 57-ft. mixer drum, fired by a Phoenix Talon 125 MMBTU per hour combination gas/#2 oil burner, include a seven-compartment cold feed system, a dual deck scalping screen, twin shaft asphalt mixer, a 101,225 CFM Pulse Jet Baghouse, a low-profile truck scale, a pilot control center equipped with the Total Control II-HMA PLC Control System, a Heatec 2 MMBTU per hour gas/oil heater, and three 10,000 gallon vertical insulated asphalt tanks.

“We’ve really been happy with our Queens’ plant that we brought online in 2007 and have modified to increase our RAP production, so we invested in this new plant to be able to increase RAP production in our Connecticut market as customers allow based on their investment dollars and performance requirements,” Tully says. “We really think this plant will serve our needs for a long time, producing from 300,000 to 500,000 tons per year.”