By Jesse Wood
Maymead Inc. is seeking to operate a second asphalt plant in Watauga County.
In addition to the asphalt plant that has been up and running for years on N.C. 105 South, Maymead recently secured a lease of property that features the J.W. Hampton Company rock crusher and recycling plant where it hopes to produce asphalt.
Wiley Roark, co-owner and president of the Mountain City-based company, said that the proposed asphalt plant would furnish asphalt for the 16-mile long U.S. 221 widening project from Deep Gap to Jefferson.
Roark estimated that Maymead won a subcontract with Vannoy Construction in February or March to work on the U.S. 221 project. Vannoy Construction received a $21.4 million contract to widen one of the five sections along U.S. 221 and began construction at the end of March. A second section will let (open to bidding) in 2017, while a third section will let in 2019, according to Trent Beaver, N.C. Department of Transportation construction engineer for Division 11.
“We certainly thought the site there, whether crushing or an asphalt plant, is a good site because it is east of town and out of traffic [areas]. It will certainly assist, in terms of construction efforts, out there on that [U.S. 221] corridor,” Roark said.
The lease agreement at 5251 U.S. 421 South, which began on Jan. 13, 2015, has an initial term of eight years with a five-year option to renew. Roark is leasing the 4.341-acre property from Johnny and Joan Hampton for $6,000 per year during the initial eight years. The contract also includes Roark’s right of first refusal to purchase 104+ acres in and around the site.
The 104 acres includes 22 acres owned by the Hamptons, which also includes the 4.341-acre site, and 82 more acres of land owned by adjacent property owners, including Gateway Crew, LLC and Summer Tract, LLC.
Maymead has plans for asphalt production, aggregates stockpiles, fuel storage and liquid asphalt storage, according to a sign advertising the proposed asphalt plant off of U.S. 421, which Roark said he was required to put up.
On April 13, Maymead applied for an ownership/transfer request for J.W. Hampton’s operating permit for the rock crushing and recycling yard with the Winston-Salem regional office of N.C. Department of Environmental & Natural Resources (DENR).
Roark said that he still must apply for an air quality permit. He noted that the permitting process usually takes about 90 days once submitted.