The technical tour for the month of March took place at the All American Asphalt mining facility in Corona. The site can be easily seen from Interstate 15 and Highway 91, the site is located to the south east of the interchange. The facility is one of three facilities that provide aggregates for paving and concrete projects for much of southern California, most likely you have seen their equipment along the road at a construction site proudly displaying their American flag. The site has a footprint of over 600 Acres, so attendees of San Bernardino/ Riverside (SB/R) ASCE were driven around the site via a small air conditioned bus provided by All American Asphalt.
The event commenced about 10:00AM with a brief overview of the on-site maintenance and storage areas where all routine maintenance is performed. Then the group was chauffeured to different locations where we could witness the step-by-step mining process of creating 3/4”, 1/2″, and other size aggregates to be used in pavements and concrete jobs. Our tour started at the mining ‘pit’ where the first step creating aggregate materials is blasting. Surprisingly, the explosives used are made of inert and organic materials, which are activated with electric current and a ‘special’ mixture. A large high pressure drilling machine is used to prepare the site with the explosives by making approximately forty (40) 60-foot deep holes per blast site.
The group had a chance to see the process of grinding down the large boulders with the use of special grinders. It was awesome to see the equipment used to haul and move material around the site, some of the equipment used were excavators, bulldozers, dump trucks, and many conveyor belts for transporting of smaller rock materials.
We got a chance to see the control room where all equipment and material productions is monitored constantly with the help of a SCADA and PLC (Programmable Logic Control). We also got to see how much recycled material is used in making the asphalt for new pavement. Materials from used shingles, recycled tires, and recycled pavement are all used in creating asphalt for new pavement materials. As we toured around the site, the practice of engineering from different disciplines can easily be spotted at every step of the process throughout the tour. It was a great trip, and amazing to see well integrated, clean, and eco-friendly a site of this magnitude can be. ASCE/YMF would like to give a special thanks to All American Asphalt and Bill Ballon for taking time out of his schedule to give the tour and answer all of our questions.