By 2008 San Diego County is going to be 1.25 million tons of asphalt below the needs we have currently. The question is: Do you want to have the ability to provide for your own [asphalt] needs? It won’t solve the crisis in North County, but at least the City of Escondido will have begun to provide for its own needs in a very real way.
In 2004, the Engineering & General Contractors Association warned of a coming asphalt plant crisis in North San Diego County. CLICK HERE to read the EGCA White Paper. The engineering construction community warned that by 2007 there would be only one operating asphalt plant in North County and by 2008 that plant, too would go offline.
Bringing asphalt from South County plants (which are already producing to near-maximum capacity) and from facilities in Orange County and Riverside County, would put too many trucks on the freeway increasing gridlock and air pollution.
The City of Escondido had already turned down a proposal for a larger regional asphalt plant and supplies were being threatened. It seemed none of the residents in North County wanted a large asphalt plant in their community.
Life-long North County resident George Weir, himself an asphalt contractor and recycler, listened carefully to his neighbor's concerns and figured out a creative solution: a small asphalt facility just large enough to serve the local needs, keeping truck traffic to a minimum and off the already-crowded I-15 and SR-78 freeways.
George proposed the facility be placed on his asphalt recycling site, and the Escondido City Council rendered a unanimous 5-0 vote on September 14, 2005 because, in the words of the mayor:
If you do not have an asphalt plant close by, you are actually creating more pollution by the truck traffic that has to bring that asphalt many, many miles ... [soon] cities throughout our county will realize that having a small plant is the way to go.
CLICK HERE to read what the City Councilmembers said about George Weir's planned boutique asphalt facility.
Mayor Holt Pfeiler's prediction is even more prescient today as most of North County struggles to find enough asphalt.
We have a crisis here...The hot mix asphalt plants are disappearing all over North County.
On February 6, 2007 our Escondido Asphalt facility opened for business. Since then Escondido Asphalt has become the principal supplier for the greater Escondido area and we are currently operating at full capacity supplying Recycled Asphalt to our neighbors & businesses in Escondido.
Looking like a public park to the cars driving to the fitness center on Tulip Street in Escondido, Escondido Asphalt has figured out how to be a good neighbor and a reliable producer of low-emissions asphalt for the Greater Escondido community.
In 2005, we told the people of Escondido that we would build them an asphalt facility that would provide for their needs while keeping the neighborhood clean and safe and preserving clean air.
Today clean trucks come and go from our 3.7 acre recycling facility on Tulip Street supplying the area's asphalt needs with the "greenest" asphalt in California.
Without George Weir's plant, businesses and residences can expect to pay at least $4 more per ton and additional transport fees to transport asphalt from Miramar and Mission Valley... I trust him and know that George will not do anything to hurt the environment in our community. George goes the second mile, he makes things right, and I appreciate that about him.
I've watched three plants close in North County. I'm a small business, I maybe do 25-50 tons a day. [The Escondido plant] will relieve congestion on the 15, 78, and 5 [because trucks don't have to come from South County]. George is a great guy. I've had my equipment break down. I'd call him up he'd say, "Hey, come over and use mine." That's the kind of guy he is.
Warm Mix Asphalt is a process initially developed in Europe that allows 30% lower temperatures and results in lower consumption of fossil fuels and 50%-70% less green house gasses, aerosols, and vapors.
Escondido Asphalt was the first Southern California asphalt facility to offer Warm Mix asphalt. Our first test of Warm Mix was for the Escondido Fire Dept. in 2006 and has been a complete success.