By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
The latest member of Atmore’s industrial community should be doing business at a regular pace by the end of the year, when a new asphalt plant — currently in the final stages of construction — begins production.
“We’re getting everything lined up and situated,” Corey Horton, General Superintendent of the H.O. Weaver & Sons, Inc. plant, said this week. “We hope to be making asphalt in about three weeks.”
Preparation began in October on the roughly 25-acre site, located just off Woods Road, behind Plains Marketing (formerly J-Mar Trucking). Company crews are already hauling aggregate base (mostly crushed rock that will pass through a ¾-inch screen) from the plant for use on the company’s Interstate 65 paving project.
H.O. Weaver crews worked Monday, December 2, to install the drum dryer that will eventually feed liquid asphalt into two massive silos.
“The drum dryer is important,” Horton said. “When you make asphalt, everything has to be dry. Asphalt won’t stick to material unless it’s at least 240 degrees (Fahrenheit).”
Once the mix is dry, it is transferred by conveyor into the silos, each of which can hold up to 200 tons of paving material.
“These Astec silos hold 200 tons each,” Horton said. “That gives me 400 tons of storage space. The trucks just pull up on the scales, and they’re weighed as they load.”
Mayor Jim Staff said the company should benefit the community by helping to keep asphalt prices down.
“I think it will be good for the city,” Staff said. “It should give some competition to the other asphalt plants around here.”
The Atmore plant is the company’s fourth, all located in southern Alabama. Weaver also has facilities in Mobile, Theodore and Grove Hill. Each plant is equipped with a qualified laboratory, where mixes are continuously tested for quality.
“This is our nicest site yet,” said Horton, who added that the company would be community conscious. “We want to be good neighbors; we want to give back to Atmore.”