A RECENT SPECIAL EVENT put on by the Asphalt Contractors Association of Florida (ACAF), Inc. — the 40th Annual Asphalt Contractors Conference and Trade Show — was a great opportunity for four Tucker Paving team members to catch up with colleagues in the paving business and get up to speed quickly on current industry issues and new technologies.

Ray Curtis, Shawn Signore, Amanda Dawley, and Shane Rocker represented Tucker Paving at the conference, which was held in mid-September at the Wyndham Orlando Resort in Orlando. The four returned to the office with a lot of useful information and resources to share with management and fellow employees. Conference topics included work zone safety best practices, work zone innovations, research initiatives, paving electronics, current construction issues and ideas, and the state of the asphalt industry — particularly in the Sunshine State. Several 2016 ACAF Excellence in Pavement Awards were presented, too.

The ACAF has an interesting slogan — “Asphalt: Florida Rides on Us.” It’s not just a clever play on words; it’s a fact. The association reports that asphalt is, by far, the primary form of highway pavement in Florida. Asphalt makes up about 99 percent of Florida’s pavements and is the surface of choice for about 94 percent of the 2.27 million miles of paved roads throughout the United States. That includes 65 percent of the Interstate Highway System.

Asphalt clearly is the pavement of choice — for roads, parking lots, and many more applications — by Tucker Paving and other professional paving companies around the country. It’s a proven performer, it makes motoring smooth and fuel efficient, it can be customized to any paving application, and it has the lowest life-cycle cost of any paving option.

Asphalt also is “money in the bank” when it comes time for road resurfacing. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Highway Administration, about 90 million tons of asphalt pavement is reclaimed each year, and more than 80 percent of the reclaimed pavement is recycled. Tucker Paving has its own asphalt recycling operation, providing asphalt millings for its own road projects and the balance for sale to other companies and to the public.

If you want to learn a lot about asphalt and asphalt paving in a hurry, the websites for the Tallahassee-based ACAF (www.acaf.org), the National Asphalt Pavement Association (www.asphaltpavement.org), and Asphalt Pavement Alliance (www.asphaltfacts.com) are excellent places to explore. These websites are rich with interesting facts, figures, and general information.

The ACAF on the Web: www.acaf.org