And the Winners Are…

We were excited to be able to gather in person at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point for Braen’s 5th Annual Team Building Event! And there is no doubt that the presentation of the 2023 Vision and Values Awards was one of the highlights. Winners were nominated by their co-workers based on how they represented our company’s core values of Service, Integrity, and Respect. The Leadership Team then chose winners for each core value, plus one overall winner.

Service Award: Lucas Goncalves Almeida, Daniel Hook, and Andrew La Min were each honored for their unwavering commitment to customer service and their willingness to always go above and beyond to help their co-workers as well as Braen’s customers and vendors. “In the words of Stephen Covey, ‘What you do has far greater impact than what you say’,” Lucas said. “I try to embody these words and use them as an inspiration to be the best version of myself, both professionally and personally.” Described as someone who never says no, Dan noted that the award is a testament to Braen’s investment into their workforce. “I’m grateful to work for a place that provides so many opportunities for their employees.” Andrew exclaimed, “I am honored to receive this award and definitely did not expect it at all.”

Respect Award: Winners Dave Jennings and Adrian Feliciano embody this value by working well with others and treating people the way they themselves want to be treated. In turn, they have earned the respect of their colleagues. Dave, a 19-year company veteran, said, “I am so proud of this award. I would like to thank my co-workers for choosing me and the Braen family for having a wonderful program like this.” Acknowledged as “the definition of a true leader,” Adrian thanked everyone who participated in the program. He added, “I consider myself fortunate, and extend my heartfelt gratitude for the award presented to me. “

Integrity Award: Maria Vargas was recognized for her positive attitude, strong work ethic, motivation to learn, and for being someone others can count always on. “Thank you to the Leadership Team, the Braen Family, and all of my fellow co-workers for making my day-to-day here enjoyable! I truly appreciate the recognition, and I’m looking forward to more relationships to build and more growth in the years to come.” 

Jennifer Suriel, who was honored with the Overall Award, was described  as one of the most hard-working and knowledgeable members of the Braen team. “It will always be a memorable moment for me. To be nominated and recognized by my peers, managers, and Leadership Team is what made winning even more special. I will continue to strive to be someone who management can trust and who coworkers feel comfortable coming to for help.”

Moments That Matter

Braen’s 5th Annual Team Building Event was filled with opportunities for us to learn, collaborate, and have fun. One of the most inspiring moments was the keynote address by Brigadier General Maureen LeBoeuf. Entitled “Moments That Matter,” she spoke about her life and the tiny moments that made a big difference. She described specific experiences that gave her a different perspective on life, and on how to respond to adversity and recognize achievement. 

In her closing remarks, Brigadier General LeBoeuf expressed hope that her talk would inspire us to think about moments that mattered in our own lives, as well as moments we have made matter in the lives of others. Looking back at the last few years, there have been key moments for both the Braen team and the company. Points in time that caused the path to change for all of us. For example, being able to have a Christmas party and an in-person gathering – where we had the chance to meet people from other locations – were definitely big moments. This was especially true for employees who have never had the experience.

When asked about moments that mattered to them, here is what several members of the Braen team had to say:

Jose Perez: “I can’t pick an exact moment. I just know that working here keeps getting better each year.” 

Douglas Belina: “During my onboarding, Maria made the process very smooth and easy. This mattered because having this job helped me get a mortgage.” 

Joe Latronica: “Putting the drag slat on the new asphalt plant is definitely a moment that comes to mind. It finally felt like the project was coming together.” 

Shawn Foley: “Being up in Whitehall, I never thought I would get to meet people who work at other locations. But at the Christmas party, I was able to enjoy interacting with many other members of the team.” 

Mike Valicenti: “I really liked the Emerging Leader Program. It shows that our company is investing in its employees and recognizing those who it believes will be the next generation of leadership.” 

Juliann Johnson: “A moment that really mattered to me happened years ago. I was in Janet Braen’s office with a few other people and a pastor prayed with us. I was only a few months into working here, and I remember him telling me, “Don’t be anxious, you are where you need to be.” 

Braen Expands!

Since 1904, contractors across Northern New Jersey have come to count on Braen Stone for the materials they need to build everything from highways to driveways and bridges to tunnels.  

This includes providing a diverse line of aggregates, recycled materials, and hot mix asphalt to all parts of the construction industry. Since 2019 Braen has hired 94 active employees. They have helped us…  

Braen Stone Acquires New Quarry in Whitehall, NY 

We are excited to announce that we have expanded our operations by acquiring a new stone quarry in January of 2022. Purchased from Azzil Granite Materials, Braen Stone of Whitehall is situated on roughly 150 acres in Upstate New York, just 35 minutes from Lake George on the Vermont border in Washington County. 

Already recognized as one of the largest producers of construction materials in northern New Jersey, our ability to mine granite at Braen Stone of Whitehall marks a strategic step in our company’s growth. This additional site – the fifth in our family of Braen-owned-and-operated stone quarries – will allow us to better supply the New York market as well as to serve new and current customers throughout the entire Tri-State region. 

We anticipate ramping up operations this spring, and have already committed to supplying jetty rock to South Jersey shore points. Even as we grow, our team remains focused on safely producing quality materials and fostering the commitment to customers and their jobs that has helped build our reputation as one of the most trusted partners in the industry. Fun Fact: Whitehall, NY, is a picturesque town that is known for its annual Sasquatch Festival & Calling Contest, which features “Bigfoot” researchers, food, and family activities. 

Braen Stone of Sparta Now Open 24/7 

Business has been booming at our Sparta location, which is now open 24 hours a day to meet customer demand. This quarry is a source of jetty rock and limestone for our customers, and we also operate an Asphalt Plant on the site. 

Braen Supply Expands to Randolph, NJ 

Braen Supply is now officially open on the former site of Curly Stone on Route 10 in Randolph! We hosted a Grand Opening & Expo on April 1st, where we welcomed members of the town council and invited vendors to showcase their products. Our third location in New Jersey (in addition to Haledon and Wanaque), Braen Supply Randolph features an outdoor display area and is open to contractors and homeowners. We look forward to helping you with all of your landscape and masonry projects! 

Braen Stone Wins 2 Awards At NJAPA 2021 Pavement Awards

On October 6, 2021, the New Jersey Asphalt Pavement Association (NJAPA) held its annual awards program honoring professionals in the pavement industry. The Annual Paving Awards were held at The Wave Resort in Long Branch, NJ and recognized the outstanding work of NJAPA members within the past year. 

Braen Stone was the recipient of two prestigious awards this night.  

The first was awarded for playing a critical role in resurfacing of a state highway or toll road with a thin overlay and a minimum of 5,000 tons of asphalt pavement. Braen Stone received the award for supplying the asphalt for Route 287 Northbound, Route 202/206 to South Street job, Della Pello Paving, Inc. was the contractor on the job.  

The second award involved the new construction or rehabilitation of a state highway or toll road with a minimum of 10,000 tons of asphalt pavement. Braen Stone received the award for supplying the asphalt for Interchange 14 – T200.497 – Concrete Roadway Repairs & Resurfacing project, Crisdel Group, Inc. was the contractor on the job.  

Each of these achievements acknowledges Braen Stone’s commitment to the New Jersey community and pavement industry. 

About the NJAPA 

The New Jersey Asphalt Pavement Association is a statewide organization that was founded in 1933. As the oldest construction-oriented organization, NJAPA is committed to enhancing the general business environment and adding value to the development and maintenance of transportation infrastructure. 

NJAPA works closely with regulators, legislators, specifiers, and other trade associations to increase effectiveness and facilitate the use of innovative technology in design and construction. NJAPA’s mission is to promote the broadest application of Hot Mix Asphalt (HPA) and ensure that asphalt pavement remains the pavement of choice. 

We would like to extend our congratulations to everyone who won an award at the 2021 NJAPA awards. 

Photo Credit: Andrew Mills

Braen Stone Leadership Team Introduces Values Award Program and Names the First Recipients

During the 2021 Virtual Team Gathering the Braen Leadership Team introduced the Values Award Program.  At our 116th event, which was held in 2020, the Leadership Team had noted that they were going to be rolling out the new program, however, due to COVID-19 and the circumstance of this past year, it was not rolled out as originally planned, but the goal was to remain as true to the original plan as possible.  

Supervising managers were asked to nominate employees that they felt live by Braen’s core values, and there were over 30 nominations for this year’s Values Award!  The nomination process consisted of interviews and an extensive discussion amongst the Braen Leadership Team to determine who was deserving of the award.  The Braen Leadership Team narrowed down the nominations down to two employees for each core value, Service, Integrity and Respect and one overall winner. 

The winners of the Service Award were Tom Lynch and Rich DeBonte, who practice servant leadership as they meet the needs of others. Tom and Rich resemble service not only internally, to everyone they work with on the Braen Team, but externally as well, as they encounter Braen’s customers and/or vendors. Rich says, “I am humbled to be one of the recipients of the first Value Awards given by Braen Stone.   It’s an honor to work for a company that recognizes the contributions of its employees.”

The Integrity Award was granted to Kevin Harmyk and Wilbur Corter, who consistently practice and reflect Braen’s businesses beliefs.  Kevin and Wilbur continue to always stay true to their promises, always operate with consistency, and make sure everyone is treated with respect. When asked what winning this honor as meant to them, Wilbur noted, “I am proud to work for a company who acknowledges its employees,” and Kevin continued saying, “I am partial to C. S. Lewis’ quote, ‘Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.’”

Carl Ross and Jennifer McMaster, who both ensure that everyone counts and is treated equally, won the Respect Award. Carl and Jennifer lead by example, care about everyone they meet, and always have the best interest of the company in mind. Carl noted, I would like to thank Braen Stone and the Braen family for choosing me for this award. I Am very humble for this recognition,” and Jennifer continued saying, “Thank you! An abundance of gratitude for the presentation of receiving the ‘respect’ value award.  I am enamored with honor and blessed to be a part of an extraordinary company! ‘Let yourself feel the pride, but always stay humble and kind.’”

The Overall Award was granted to Mark Deighan.  Mark continuedly resembles all three core values, service, integrity, and respect.  Mark is always happy to help others and live out the Braen Core Values. Mark says, “Other than his family, being named the Vision and Values winner is my greatest honor.  I have a great team!”

Congratulations to all the Values Award winners!

The Ultimate Guide for Purchasing Asphalt In Sussex County

Asphalt has literally been used in millions of residential and commercial projects over the years. Between its ease-of-use, flexibility, and durability, it has proven itself to be one of the most reliable and popular materials that mankind has ever used. In fact, our world could very well look a lot different if asphalt didn’t exist.

If you’re planning on incorporating asphalt into an upcoming residential or commercial project, there’s a good chance that you probably have some questions about its usage. We’ve covered asphalt topics in the past and will definitely do so in the future, but we thought it’d be helpful right now to provide you with an ultimate guide to asphalt in Sussex County that will deliver a general overview of the use of this great material.

What to Know About Your Project

Before you begin any project, here are the most important factors to consider prior to purchasing the required asphalt in Sussex County:

Project’s Parameters

The first thing you want to know is what the project’s overall parameters are going to be. In other words, you need to be able to explain to the landscape designer and materials supplier how your project will utilize asphalt.

Size of Overall Area

Next, you need to take into account the overall size of the area where you will be laying the asphalt. It is important to include calculations for each section, so if you have a bunch of small areas to cover, make sure you add up all of their dimensions.

Type of Asphalt You’ll Need

The type of asphalt you’ll need will depend on a variety of factors, including whether you’re using it in a residential or commercial project. This is something that you will want to discuss with your landscape designer before the project begins.

Bulk Material Needs

Like most things, purchasing asphalt in bulk will allow you to save some money. Whether or not you need to purchase in bulk will depend on how much asphalt you actually need in order to complete the project.

Pick-up or Delivery

It’s always best to purchase materials from a supplier that owns a brick and mortar store, which means you’ll be able to either pick up the asphalt or have it delivered directly to you. Just keep in mind that delivery adds to the cost of your project.

Steps to Take for Purchasing Asphalt

Once you know all of the basics of your asphalt needs, it will be time to actually purchase the asphalt in Sussex County. Here are the simple steps that you should take:

Make Initial Contact Quickly

The sooner you can make contact with a supplier, the more quickly you can begin the landscape project, obviously. But, more importantly, when you give additional time between the initial contact and the start of the project, the supplier will have a better opportunity to ensure that your calculations are correct and then get the asphalt to you.

Inquire About Credit Opportunities

Materials suppliers absolutely love to feel as if they are a part of your landscape project right from the get-go. By creating a personal rapport with the supplier, you are creating a partnership where getting great results will be a factor for everyone involved.

Discuss the Project’s Details

The next step to take when purchasing asphalt from a material supplier is to discuss all of the details of the project that were indicated above, plus anything else he or she wants to know. This will not only improve your relationship with the supplier but will also solidify the project’s scope and specifications.

Ask for Other Pertinent Info

This is the time where you can ask any other pertinent information that you would like to know, such as a dispatch number to discuss deliveries, the hours of the supplier which are especially important if you’re a highway contractor, and anything else. And feel free to add any questions to the list along the way.

Common Agricultural Lime Uses & Their Benefits

Limestone is a staple for many construction and landscaping projects in NJ and throughout the world, but the naturally occurring and extremely versatile material is used for a whole lot more than just building. Anyone with even the most slightly green thumb can benefit from working with agricultural lime.

Generally known as aglime, this finely crushed limestone is capable of fertilizing everything from large fields of crops to small, home victory gardens, and even a grassy front lawn. Because of the variety of agricultural lime uses, we’ve dedicated this post to exploring what aglime does, how it works, and how it can be used in NJ.

Agricultural Lime At-A-Glance

As mentioned previously, agricultural lime is nothing more than limestone that has been crushed down to a very tiny particulate matter. The material must be pulverized very finely in order to have a positive impact on soil. In fact, the smaller the particle size of the agricultural lime, the more effective it will be.

While traditional limestone is often used in the production of agricultural lime, dolomitic lime may also be selected for this purpose. Traditional limestone is able to add much-needed calcium into the soil in order to restore soil health and improve growing conditions.

Because calcium is a base, aglime is often used in soil that is too acidic to grow healthy plant life. Dolomitic lime is also able to bring calcium into the soil, but it also provides magnesium – another base compound. Soil that has been deprived of magnesium may benefit from dolomitic lime over traditional aglime.

Agricultural Lime Uses

Both traditional and dolomitic aglime are invaluable to farmers, gardeners and homeowners alike. Agricultural lime can be effectively used to treat many soil problems and to restore health to any property. Here’s a look at some of the most common uses for aglime:

Restoring pH Balance

There are many reasons why soil may become too acidic. Two of the most common reasons are exposure to acidic rain and over-working the land. After many seasons of growing and harvesting crops and introducing chemicals or fertilizers to the earth, soil can become very acidic.

This, in turn, creates poor growing conditions for most plants. Because both traditional limestone and dolomitic limestone contain such high quantities of calcium, their introduction to acidic soil can help to raise pH levels and create balance.

Reducing Toxicity

In some instances, excessive quantities of manganese and aluminum may be present in the soil. Aglime can help to lower the overall toxicity of these elements which works to improve soil microbe activity. In addition to this, reducing toxicity can also improve soil structure and integrity.

Adding Nutrients

Throughout the years, soil may begin to lose nutrients that are essential for growing healthy plants. Agricultural lime brings important nutrients like calcium and phosphorous back to this soil while also making it much easier for plants to absorb “food” through their root systems.

Because agricultural lime is so effective in the long term, you’ll find that many different types of people can benefit from using the material. You’ll see aglime used for:

Commercial Farming

Aglime is frequently used to improve growing conditions in fields that have been frequently used for growing commercial crops. This allows farmers to continue to make good use out of the land throughout the years.

Personal Gardens

Homeowners who enjoy growing vegetables, frats, flowers, or other plants throughout their properties may find it necessary to add aglime to their soil on occasion in order to keep it healthy.

Commercial Landscapes

Businesses, large commercial and institutional campuses, and other larger facilities may choose to work with agricultural lime in order to keep their landscapes looking lush and healthy.


City and county parks might elect to add agricultural lime to their soil in order to keep fields vibrant and grassy.
Residential Lawns – Homeowners having trouble keeping their lawns green and beautiful may benefit from adding aglime to the mix.

Getting the Most Out of Agricultural Lime

One thing to keep in mind when working with agricultural lime is that it will take some time in order to see positive results. Unlike many chemical fertilizers, agricultural limestone relies on the passage of time in order for its nutrients to be released into the soil and to take effect. Once the lime begins to work, however, it offers a highly effective and long-lasting solution.

In order to get the best results, you need to understand how to properly use aglime. As mentioned previously, you’ll need to make sure that your aglime is ground down as finely as possible in order to ensure maximum benefit.

This is because, of course, the smaller the particulate matter, the more efficient and effective it will be. On top of this, you will need to consider your plant’s needs in terms of nutrients and pH levels.

This will clue you in as to whether or not you could benefit from using dolomitic lime, and it will also give you a better sense of how much lime to introduce to your soil.

Make sure that you talk with a trusted professional about how much aglime to add to your soil. Under-spreading the material won’t do your soil any good, while over-applying the material could cause even more problems. Take care to add the right quantity and to spread the aglime evenly and consistently over your soil.

Working with Aglime in NJ

As a leading manufacturer and supplier of agricultural lime in NJ and its surrounding areas, Braen Stone is your number one stop for boosting soil health. We offer high-quality agricultural lime at fair wholesale prices.

As industry experts, our team is qualified to help you make decisions regarding the type of aglime you use for your project and the correct quantity needed.

Our aglime can be picked up at your leisure or can be bulk delivered to areas throughout parts of NJ, NY, NYC and limited parts of PA. Give us a call or visit us to learn more and get started today.

Agricultural Lime: Prices, Uses & Questions

When the acidity levels of soil become too high, vegetation suffers. This can occur for a number of different reasons including acidic rain, the use of certain fertilizers or pesticides, frequent crop cycles, etc.

Fortunately, you don’t need to completely replace the soil in your field, garden or lawn in order to improve growing conditions.

The simplest, most affordable and most effective means of restoring proper pH levels within your soil is by utilizing agricultural lime (or simply, aglime).

If you’ve never applied aglime before, you may have some questions and concerns about how the material works, what it actually is, best practices for its purchase and application and what you should expect to pay.

To walk our customers through the process of choosing and using aglime, we’ve dedicated this post to answering some of the most frequently asked liming questions.

What is agricultural lime?

Aglime is essentially just limestone or dolomite that has been ground, washed and screened for use as a soil treatment. The chemical makeup of the aglime makes it possible for essential minerals like calcium and magnesium to be reintroduced into the ground and for pH levels to be restored to neutral. At the same time, the pulverized limestone makes it easier for water to penetrate highly acidic soil and improves a plant’s ability to absorb nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium.

What types of agricultural lime are available?

If you’ve decided to use aglime to improve the soil conditions throughout your property, you’ve probably noticed that you have several different options. You’ll need to be aware of the specifications of each to ensure that you select the right material for your needs.

  • Calcitic Lime – Calcitic lime is just another name for regular aglime that has been made solely from crushed limestone. The material’s high calcium content is what allows it to neutralize acidity and improve growing conditions.
  • Dolomitic Lime – As the name implies, dolomitic lime is manufactured from pulverized dolomite. Although dolomite is very similar to limestone and is equally as effective in raising soil pH levels, it should be noted that dolomite offers an excellent supply of magnesium in addition to calcium. This is really only important in fields and gardens where magnesium levels are found to be low.
  • Dry Lime – Dry lime is simply the ground limestone or dolomite in its pure, crushed form. When considering using dry lime, you should keep in mind that the smaller the particle size, the faster the reaction with the soil will occur.
  • Liquid Lime – Liquid lime is comprised of 50% dry aglime and 50% water. Some people prefer to use liquid lime because it tends to offer faster results and it’s also easier to spread it more uniformly across large areas than dry lime. The downside is that more frequent applications are generally required.

How should agricultural lime be applied?

In order to get the most benefit from your aglime, you’ll need to keep a few important items in mind throughout the application process:Volume Required – Different plants thrive in soils with varying pH levels. Calculating how much aglime will be required to reach these specific pH levels can be quite complicated, so it’s advisable that you work with a liming professional to determine how much to apply to your field, lawn, or garden.

Even Application – In order to get the best results, it’s very important that you take the time to carefully spread lime uniformly throughout your coverage area. Be sure that you don’t overlook any corners and that you don’t complete double applications in one or more areas. Slight overlapping is generally acceptable as a practice for ensuring evenness of spread. Avoid applying aglime when winds are more that 10mph as it can scatter the materials and reduce uniformity.

Tillage – Whenever it’s possible, your liming materials should be worked or tilled into this soil. Agricultural lime that’s only applied to the surface of the ground won’t react as quickly. This is because when lime is actually worked into the earth, a larger portion of the aglime’s surface area will be exposed to the soil. Tilling the aglime also minimizes the risk of losing any liming materials to wind or the elements.

Necessary Tools/Equipment – When tilling lime, it’s recommended that the lime be disked in at least twice before being plowed under for maximum distribution. Without the right equipment, you could end up with uneven spread. Those working with liquid lime will also need to make considerations for transporting water to the desired coverage area and spraying.

How quickly does agricultural lime work?

Most users are anxious to see a positive improvement in the pH of their soil, but it’s important to keep in mind that several factors will come into play as the aglime begins to do its work. The first thing to note is that water is required for lime to react with the soil.

If the earth is dry, you can expect it to take longer to get measurable results. Because of this, it’s smart to apply lime well before your next growing season. If your soil has an extremely low pH level, you will probably be able to see results more quickly, although it will still take time for the soil to be fully neutralized.

The percentage of calcium present in the aglime also makes a difference with regard to how long the liming process will take.

Generally speaking, aglime with a high calcium carbonate equivalent (CCE) will be able to reduce acidity levels more quickly than those with a lower CCE. Finally, finer liming particles are more efficient than course materials.

How frequently should agricultural lime be applied?

In addition to measuring pH levels which will reveal the active acidity of the soil, it’s also important to consider the cation exchange capacity (CEC) of the earth. The CEC measures both the active and reserve acidity of the soil. If a soil has a low CEC it will actually have less total acidity that soils with a high CEC, even if the pH is the same.

Even though less agricultural lime is required to correct soil with a low CEC, it may need annual applications to maintain pH levels.

Soil with a high CEC on the other hand might initially need a larger application of liming materials, but won’t likely need a repeat application for several years. The level of production and chemicals introduced to the soil should also be considered when planning for how frequently liming must occur.

Can agricultural lime be used with other chemicals?

Depending on your needs, it may be important for you to understand how aglime works with:

  • Fertilizers – Many fertilizers contribute to the increase in a soil’s acidity levels. Fertilizers can also cause nutrients to be more quickly depleted from the earth. As a result, agricultural lime may need to be applied more often in fields and gardens where fertilizers are used.
  • Herbicides – Be mindful of the fact that some herbicides are dependent on a soil’s pH levels and could be impacted by the reaction with the liming material that you use.

Where can I get the best prices on agricultural lime?

When purchasing agricultural lime, you should understand that the “best” price isn’t necessarily the same thing as the “cheapest” product.

While you want to keep your costs at a minimum, you also don’t want to sacrifice the quality of the materials that you introduce to your soil. Purchasing from an online or street-corner seller could get you the lowest price, but you have no guarantee about where the materials came from or what its CCE is.

You may also be tempted to buy from a major retailer that you feel you can trust, but these chain stores don’t manufacture their own liming materials and will be equally unable to answer important questions about the product. At the same time, their prices will likely be higher, as they must resell the aglime for a profit.

Purchasing your agricultural lime from a direct supplier like Braen Stone is the smartest thing you can do. We own and operate our own quarries, providing us with essential information about the quality and chemical makeup of your liming materials.

We offer competitive wholesale pricing to our customers and can work with you to calculate your liming needs. Our aglime is available for pickup or bulk delivery throughout parts of NJ, NY, NYC and PA.

One Quarry Job Creates Nearly Five Others

As a family owned and operated business, Braen Stone believes in keeping customers informed with valuable information. This blog post by the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association explains the benefits of quarry jobs and the overall effect they have on the economy.

The following post is an article by the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association. The writer that wrote the article below is not affiliated with Braen Stone in any way.

EACH JOB IN A QUARRY supports nearly five jobs, 4.87 to be exact, in other industries and sectors, and this multiplier effect is found at the local and state levels.

This is just one of many facts found by the Washington D.C.-based Phoenix Center, which released an economic analysis of exactly how a stone, sand or gravel operation impacts jobs, tax revenues, other businesses and other key economic indicators in a community.

The Economic Impact of the Natural Aggregates Industry: A National, State, and County Analysis was conducted by George Ford, Ph. D., chief economist at The Phoenix Center and quantifies the current impact of the aggregates industry on the broader economy and sheds light on how an expansion of the industry, perhaps through new infrastructure spending, might ripple through the economy. “If you create opportunity in a county next door, that income comes back. It creates a feedback loop.

This study helps to see how a specific operation can affect any nearby community,” said Ford. A lot of the economic benefits can be attributed to the salaries from the aggregates industry, which are higher than the national average wages. According to the analysis, not only does the aggregates industry generate $27 billion in annual sales and employ 100,000 workers at above-average wages, the economic activity in the sector has large effects on other industries.

The industry also supports $122 billion in national sales, $32 billion in national earnings (i.e., wages) and between 364,000 and 600,000 jobs across a wide range of occupations and industries. “We know that a quarry cannot start or grow without local permits and approval.

Unfortunately, it’s often the case that local zoning committees or state departments and even neighbors oppose quarries seeking permits,” said Michael W. Johnson, NSSGA president and CEO. “This is a welcome study for our industry. One that helps to clearly demonstrate the value of aggregates operations have for towns and cities, states and the nation’s economy.”

In many cases, the benefits of a quarry are similar at the state level. Because aggregates are consumed by housing and construction projects within 50 miles of the quarry that produced them, these products literally shape their communities. In Connecticut, the state’s 486 quarry jobs translate into 2,267 statewide jobs. Texas, the state with the largest quarry work force, has 11,506 statewide jobs resulting from its 4,257 quarry jobs.

Ford said that the Phoenix Center study stands in contrast to a housing estimate study from the University of Auburn. The economist who authored the study measured house values up to five miles away from a quarry and inferred that quarries negatively affect those values.

“It’s utter garbage,” Ford said. “When you are looking for land for a quarry, do you look at Beverly Hills? No. You look for inexpensive land where there aren’t many people. When you find that, you find inexpensive homes… but you’re purposefully not locating where housing prices are high!”

Ford pointed out the long-term impacts of a quarry on communities. “Many times, people use these surveys to show an immediate benefit. But some quarries are family-owned and operated for generations at a time,” Ford said. “In Birmingham, a quarry started operating in 1884 and has plenty of rock left.

So, this study really shows the long-term benefits that quarries provide as far as jobs, income and business for a county and neighboring areas.” Also, the survey highlights that the benefits of a quarry do not end when a company finishes quarrying operations. “As a scuba diver, I know most people learn to dive in a rock quarry if you’re not near an ocean.

You have a Six Flags in a former rock quarry. Golf courses are in former quarries, heck the U.S. Open was recently played at one,” Ford said. “These are permanent benefits.” Read the full report at ScorecardFinal.pdf

Samuel Braen, Jr. Inducted into the NJAPA Hall of Fame

The New Jersey Asphalt Pavement Hall of Fame was established to recognize and honor individuals who have made significant and lasting contributions to the asphalt pavement industry leading to innovations in the production and placement of asphalt pavement, in the usage of asphalt as a paving material, and in the general advancement and recognition of the industry.

This year we are honored to announce that Samuel Braen, Jr. has been inducted into the New Jersey Asphalt Pavement Association Hall of Fame. Being a pioneer for New Jersey’s Hot Mix Asphalt industry, Samuel Braen coined one of the mottos used by Samuel Braen’s Sons, “Pioneer of Progress”. After taking over day to day control from his father in 1962, Sam strived to make his vision of modernizing Samuel Braen Sons’ operations a reality.

His vision for the future came at a time when other Hot Mix Asphalt producers in the New Jersey market were focused on the now. In order to achieve his goals, Sam spent his weekend touring other operations, sometimes as far as Georgia and the Midwest, and drawing up plans often on yellow legal pads and napkins.

Throughout his career, Sam made an impact on the quarries and asphalt plants that he managed. Creating more opportunities and introducing new components that had not traditionally been used on asphalt plant in this region before. With the innovation of all the asphalt plants to include modern technology, it only made sense to improve the operation in other areas. Samuel Braen, Jr. also sought to make improvements in his asphalt quality control departments as well as equipment.

Samuel Braen, Jr.’s vision for innovation and modernization poised Braen Stone to not only be a leader in the industry, but continue into the fifth generation and beyond.