Asphalt Pioneer Brings State Cold, In-Place Recycling

Thu August 07, 2003 - Southeast Edition

Asphalt Recycling Inc., the company that introduced cold in-place recycling in Florida, continues to be a leader in both innovation and production 16 years later. The company uses only CMI Terex reclaimers/stabilizers for its in-place reclamation and emulsion injection projects, and despite a competitive market, has more business than it can handle.

When Ted Bitomski founded Asphalt Recycling Inc., in 1988, no one in Florida knew what cold in-place recycling was. Bitomski did, having spent the past 27 years as superintendent for a contractor in the northern United States, where he gained a lot of experience with asphalt reclamation and recycling.

He was well aware of the advantages in cost and quality that the process provided though it remained for him to convince those in his new home state that it was a process worth using.

“It took me three years to get my first job in Florida,” Bitomski recalled. “I had to do a lot of PR work to overcome the resistance of trying something new, but the technology was eventually accepted and has grown dramatically since then.

“This growth can be directly tied to the realization of the cost-effective nature of the in-place recycling process. It reduces the overall job expense compared to the conventional method of breaking up the asphalt in place. You are using existing materials, which means you don’t have to dispose of them, and you’re making a base that is stronger than one you could produce from scratch due to the emulsion we have developed,” he said.

The standard emulsion used in Florida is AE-200. However, contractors and highway officials found it did not hold up as well as they would like due to the high water tables and heavy traffic found in southern Florida. They sought to come up with an emulsion that would be water-resistant and more durable. The result was PAPS, a modified emulsion developed by Bitomski working in partnership with A.E. Mariani Asphalt. PAPS is approximately one-fourth stronger than AE-200, and features a dramatic increase in water-resistance.

“We put a tablet made of PAPS into water, and it’s been sitting there for four months now intact. It will not dissolve after it is cured. If you do the same thing with a tablet of AE-200, it will be gone in two or three days,” Bitomski said.

The emulsion is mixed into reclaimed asphalt with the company’s CMI Terex RS-500 or RS-650 reclaimers/stabilizers. First the machines pulverize the old asphalt, which is then shaped to within .5 in. (1.3 cm) of grade. Emulsion is then injected in a single pass. Bitomski finds the CMI Terex reclaimers to be the perfect machines for both applications.

As proof, Bitomski pointed to a project the company recently completed in Vero Beach, FL. “In breaking-up the old road, we went through eight to 10 inches of dense asphalt in a single pass with the RS-650, averaging about 4,000 yards per day. We then mixed-in the emulsion in a single pass — no problem. It’s the horsepower and design of this machine that allows us to do that.”

When working on city streets or county roads, the reclaimer is hooked to a tanker truck that supplies the emulsion. However, the tanker’s presence can become a problem when working in tight clearances. To obtain the most from the reclaimers’ maneuverability, the company has added 300-gal. (1,136 L) tanks to the machines, allowing them to operate on their own in environments such as cul-de-sacs and intersections.

Located in Melbourne Beach, FL, Asphalt Recycling Inc., keeps its CMI Terex reclaimers busy in a market that Bitomski said is “very good.” The company is co-owned by Bitomski and his son, Mark, who oversees the individual jobs.

To enhance its operations, ARI recently purchased a CMI Terex TR-225HD trimmer, and uses it to take surplus material off roads targeted for overly, in addition to projects like bike paths where it is used to define the grade. The TR-225HD’s purchase is the most recent event in the company’s long history with CMI Terex products.

“We started with smaller equipment, and bought our first CMI reclaimer, and RS-400, in 1994. We have stuck with CMI Terex products as we have grown, and the equipment has grown with us,” said Bitomski.

With its equipment providing the versatility to take on any reclamation/recycle project, and do so in a fast, cost-effective manner, ARI looks forward to a bright future. Its heavy job schedule proves that Bitomski’s innovation is not a thing of the past.

(This article appears courtesy of “CMI Terex News.”)