Central Asphalt, Inc. is celebrating its 40th anniversary as a leader in hot mix asphalt production and paving in the Mid-Michigan area. The family owned and operated company was founded in 1982, and is presently headquartered in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.
Over the last 40 years, Central Asphalt has built a strong reputation in the hot mix asphalt production and paving industry, with a core focus on high quality hot mix asphalt, exceptional work, customer satisfaction, and safety.
Before Central Asphalt was founded, there was The Hicks Company of Alma, MI. Following World War II, The Hicks Company flourished as an asphalt paving company in the area, primarily operating portable asphalt plants throughout the state of Michigan. Fisher Sand & Gravel, which is at present a sister-company to Central Asphalt, was a major supplier of aggregates to The Hicks Company for use in their asphalt plants.
At the time, Jim Fisher oversaw Fisher Sand & Gravel’s aggregate-supplying activity to The Hicks Company. He would locate a source of gravel in an area where significant paving projects were being performed. In turn, The Hicks Company would set-up an asphalt plant at that same location to produce the asphalt mix and perform the paving work. All while utilizing the aggregates provided by Fisher Sand & Gravel.
In 1972, before the founding of Central Asphalt, The Hicks Company worked primarily with Bud Fisher to arrange a lease on Fisher-owned property. This property was an old gravel pit, located next to the Mount Pleasant Central Concrete Plant. This leased property would serve as the location for The Hicks Company to set-up and operate a permanent asphalt plant. This is the site where Central Asphalt operates today.
In 1982, The Hicks Company made the decision to sell their Mount Pleasant plant operation, with a request to the Fisher Brothers to extend the land lease to a new owner. Through a coordinated effort between Bud Fisher and Vance Johnson, who was a Hicks Company Employee at the time, a decision was made by the three Fisher Brothers to purchase the asphalt plant and add it to the suite of Fisher Company operations, rather than extend the lease to another outside company.
This was the beginning of Central Asphalt.
CENTRAL ASPHALT’S FIRST FEW YEARS
As part of the purchase agreement, Vance Johnson was released from working at The Hicks Company and given a new role at Central Asphalt managing the asphalt plant and paving operations. Bud Fisher was the first President of Central Asphalt, with Vance Johnson serving as Vice President of Operations. Jack Young was then hired as General Superintendent, with Mary Montini later joining the team, as Central Asphalt’s very first crew of 9 employees was formed. At the time, this was enough employees to operate one paving crew and the asphalt plant.
Central Asphalt was pre-qualified with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) within the first 30 days of operation. The target market was, and continues to be, any job that involved the production and installation of hot mix asphalt – whether it be MDOT, city/county, commercial, or private work.
CENTRAL ASPHALT TODAY
Through the years, Central Asphalt has grown to operate three paving crews, one miscellaneous crew, and two fine graders. As of the 2022 season, the company has 42 employees, and at times has employed more than 50 individuals.
The asphalt plant itself has been either replaced or rebuilt a total of 3 times since the start of the company, so as to remain at the forefront of the asphalt paving industry. The most recent rebuild being in 2021.
Central Asphalt has received major awards for completed projects, including an award for the reconstruction of the Mount Pleasant Airport, awards for the widening and reconstruction of M-20 (between Mount Pleasant and Midland), and awards for a design-build project on M-115 under a Federal Program known as “Highways for Life”, among many other annual awards.
Central Asphalt is an asphalt paving company, operating a hot mix asphalt production facility. Headquartered in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, company capabilities include asphalt paving, patching, maintenance, resurfacing, repair, grading, and excavation. Work is performed throughout Isabella, Midland, Clare, Gladwin, Gratiot, Montcalm, and Mecosta Counties. The company continues to be Michigan Department of Transportation pre-qualified.
Central Asphalt is an equal opportunity employer and a proud member of the Fisher Companies.