A Brief History of Association of Modified Asphalt Producers

In 1997 there were only a handful of modified asphalt producers in the United States. Most were small entrepreneurial companies seeking to insert themselves into, what they saw as, the future asphalt binder market. Little was known, outside of the academics, DOT officials, and other SHRP researchers, about the superior performance of Superpave using modified asphalt binders, as the Strategic Highway Research Program Implementation Program was in its infancy and many states and agencies were just beginning to accept the new rheology testing and Superpave program.

Bob Berkley was just beginning operation of Polymer Asphalt Products in St. Louis, MO. The Missouri market for polymer modified binders was only 6,000 liquid tons per year, far from an amount to support a million-dollar plant that he had just erected in the Clark Refining Terminal in St. Louis.

Berkley knew a few of the existing producers and thinking that in order for this new industry to grow, it would take a combined effort from all the producers to educate the consumer transportation departments and other agencies to the dramatic improvements derived from following the Superpave system and utilizing modified binders in their paving programs.

The subject was broached one snowy night in Washington DC at the Transportation Research Board meeting, while snow accumulated to 24 inches outside the hotel. It was decided in the cozy bar that someone should follow up on that idea.

In the Summer of 1998, Berkley called a group of producers known to him and suggested they all join together to form an industry association dedicated to growing the modified binder industry.

On December 1, 1998, a group came together in a hotel in St. Louis and over a two-day period formed AMAP, the Association of Modified Asphalt Producers.

Those attending the first meeting were:

  • Bob Berkley, Polymer Asphalt Products
  • Chris Blake, Idaho Asphalt
  • John Baumgartner, BitMat
  • Don Buford, Blacklidge Emulsions
  • John Casola, Bohlin Instruments
  • Dan England, EniChem
  • Bob McGennis, Navajo Western Asphalt
  • Bobbi Means, Shell Oil
  • Alden Bailey, Jebro, Inc.
  • John Chippy, Jr., Texas Fuel and Refining
  • Henry Romagosa, TexPar Energy
  • Jim Sattler, Momentum Technologies
  • Bob Rivers, Huntway Petroleum

Berkley was elected president, a role he filled for two years. The AMAP office was temporarily housed in the Polymer Asphalt Products office in St. Louis, with one of their staff doing part-time work as bookkeeper and secretary.

The first annual meeting was held at the Hyatt Union Station with John Casola heading the agenda committee, a position he has held admirably every year since. Bob McGennis was elected president for the year 2001.