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Texarkana Asphalt Plant to Make Cameo on Science Channel Show

Fri July 08, 2011 - Southeast Edition
Eric Nicholson

TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) The city of Texarkana, Ark., will make a cameo on the Science Channel later this year.

A two-man production crew with British production company Wag TV was in town recently filming a segment on making asphalt roads for the show “How Do They Do It?”

The team, comprised of director Paul Haines and cameraman Peter Torch, began the morning with a shoot at RK Hall Construction’s asphalt plant. They followed the hot mix a short distance to Highway 257, where the company was laying down a service road.

Though Texarkana has no shortage of asphalt-laying photo ops, it wasn’t the city’s prolific road construction that piqued the interest of the film crew.

“It was a little bit of good fortune, really,” Haines said.

Haines and Torch are scheduled to film a segment on weed trimmers at the Husqvarna manufacturing plant in Nashville, Ark. They also needed to finish a segment on asphalt, so they contacted the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department.

“I sent them to RK Hall, because they have all our asphalt projects,” said Jason Efird, AHTD resident engineer.

“And they’re the best,” he said, after a friendly prompt by an RK Hall employee.

The finished segment will begin on the Caribbean Island of Trinidad, where there are large asphalt mines, then leap to Texarkana, where it is mixed with gravel, loaded onto a truck, poured and pressed into a flat surface.

Brad Bradford, a quality control manager with RK Hall, spoke on camera about laying the intermediate layer of asphalt, a few seconds of several hours of footage Haines will condense into about four minutes.

“My face won’t make the four minutes — I promise,” Bradford said.

The film crew’s trip to Texarkana and Nashville marks the end of filming for the ninth season of “How Do They Do It,” which consists of about 20 episodes with three “stories” each, Haines said.

Shooting has taken Haines and Torch to locales around the world, including Russia, Japan and the Caribbean.

“And Texarkana’s the best,” he said dryly, sweating in a hard hat and orange safety vest under the late morning sun. “And the hottest.”

An air date has not yet been set, but both locally filmed segments will appear near the end of the season, around October, Haines said.

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