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Volume 3, Issue 1

May 2008

im e s .L . T he W T

2008 A New Year and New Challenges

With a new year come new challenges. We read every day in the newspapers as well as see it on the evening news that the economy is slumping and the talking heads are predicting the nasty "R" word (recession). I guess we could all sit around and feel sorry for ourselves and worry about what is going to happen or we could decide we are going to make things happen. At The Harper Company, we decided on taking the latter approach. Despite the doom and gloom that the news pundits wish to make the headline news, we believe that there are always opportunities out there and all we have to do is search for them and do what we do best ­ make things happen. Sure some of the state governments are finding it difficult to fund their highway programs at the levels they have in the past, but others are going very strong. Some of the local airport programs may be cutting back on expansion and major renovation projects until they have a clear picture of their future needs and revenue sources, but other airports are continuing to move forward with very robust expansion plans. It's just a matter of a bit more travel, perhaps, to put us in a position to be very competitive with lots of new opportunities to do what we do best! To date, we have bid 27 jobs this year and have been successful low bidder on 3 of them. We are currently working on bids on one taxiway project at Knoxville, 3 projects at the Indianapolis Airport, one at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, and one aircraft ramp at the Memphis airport. In addition to these bids, we are looking at a couple of PCCP patching jobs in Kentucky and one in Morgan County Indiana. We have also been in discussions with DHL (Wilmington, Ohio) regarding a significant pavement repairs program they are preparing for bids as well as discussions we have had recently with UPS and their continuing plans for additional ramp expansion at the World Hub facility in Louisville. So as you can see, there is still a lot of potential out there that The Harper Company is prepared to prosecute. Through our strategic plan we have increased our market areas to include not only Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana, but also West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Michigan. As another part of our strategic plan, we have also continued to upgrade our equipment with the purchase of our new Guntert & Zimmerman QUADRA S850 paver. A tremendous amount of time was spent in researching this purchase by numerous people within the company. In addition, Danny Garrison, Joe Ishmael, Truman Lyons and Mike Knisley all flew to Ripon, California a couple of weeks ago, to watch the final assembly and testing of the new machine prior to its delivery to Job 25 (I-275 Boone County) scheduled for the week of May 12th. We are confident that with the new machine, the continual training of our people and the great staff support provided by our maintenance, engineering and quality control staff, our already great riding concrete pavements will be even better. We are very excited to demonstrate this.

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2008 A New Year and New Challenges


Top Left: Joe Ishmael, Truman Lyons and Mike Knisley Bottom Left: Mike Knisley and Joe Ishmael Joe Ishamel, Truman Lyons, Mike Knisley and Danny Garrison flew to Ripon, California to see the final assembly and testing of our new machine. After assembly and testing of the new machine, they drove to Yosemite National Park. The pictures on the left show them standing next to the redwood trees in Yosemite. There are redwoods so large that you can drive a car through them!

For those of you who may not be aware of it, our very own Bruce Huff was installed as the 2008 Chairman of the Ohio Contractors Association (OCA). The ceremony was celebrated in Fajardo, Puerto Rico this past February as Bruce was handed the gavel from outgoing Chairman Jim Ruhlin. Bruce's family and a number of us were there to witness this very exciting moment. We are very proud of Bruce and know that the OCA is in great hands with Bruce at its helm. It was 45 years ago that Len Harper held the same office as Chairman of the OCA. I know Len would be very proud of Bruce and all of those in the company who dedicate their time to the various trade associations where The Harper Company is a member. Len instilled in all of us that to be successful in our business we need to maintain membership in the trade associations and to be actively involved. I believe we can say that we have heeded his words well. With spring here a new year begins for The Harper Company. We see nothing but success in front of us and look forward to hitting the road running hard. We know we will hit challenges as we move forward, but it's just those challenges we relish to make us better at what we do and to make our jobs interesting. I hope for those of you that work for The Harper Company, I will have the opportunity to meet each of you this coming year wherever we are working. I look forward to hearing from you and value not only your great work but your input and ideas. If you see me, feel free to flag me down if you want to share a thought or an idea. If I am unable to stop, I will do my best to get back to you as quickly as possible. Best of luck to all of you, and remember above everything else ­ BE SAFE OUT THERE!

Our new Guntert & Zimmerman QUADRA S850 paver.

ays Birthd

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4/24 4/15 1/16 2/17 1/5 4/7 3/21 2/24 2/8 4/4 1/1 3/29 2/18 2/27 3/26 2/4 4/18 2/8 2/11 2/18 4/9




4/23 2/19 4/18 1/2 1/7 3/4 1/6 4/3 4/3 4/13 3/6 1/22 3/21 3/23 4/19 3/30 1/23 2/25 3/9 2/22

Congratulations to Stephen Huff and Emily Gottschall for tying the knot on March 29th.

Dylan Hanson, son of Chuck and Benita Hanson, helped his team make school history this season. Dylan attends Manchester High School and plays for the Greyhounds basketball team. They played at the Ohio University Convocation Center in the district finals against Oak Hills where they were defeated. The Greyhounds won both the Southern Hills League small-school division and a sectional title which is the first time in school history that both have been accomplished in the same season. Congratulations to Dylan and his team for all their hard work!

Bruce Huff being installed as the new Chairman at the Ohio Contractors Association ceremony in Puerto Rico.


Congratulations to Roy "Keith" Collins. He has been promoted to supervisor/foreman this year. He has worked for Harper since July of 1998. Keith and his crew are currently working on the ODOT project on Columbia Parkway.

Our deepest sympathy to the following employees: Elmer and Ray Schmidt for the loss of their father. Charlie Johnson for the loss of his mother.

Job Updates


Taxes, Traffic & Politics By: Bruce Huff

IF you have been listening lately to our presidential candidates, you may have heard them mention of a "gas tax holiday". What is being "batted about" is suspension of the federal excise tax on gasoline from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Wow! Doesn't that sound great? Better yet, how about suspending the federal income tax for 90 days? What you are really hearing is political rhetoric that lacks common sense. If the revenue from the federal motor fuel tax was not collected for 3 months there would be a decrease in federal funding to states of $9 billion that would have to be made up from some other tax source or construction projects would have to be halted. The resulting effect could only lead to layoffs of construction workers throughout the country in what should be the most productive period of the year. The idea of messing with the most productive workforce in America so that oil companies can continue raising prices without you noticing as much just lacks real thought. Here are some things to think about.

Job 27, FedEx Cargo Ramp Expansion, Phase Three, Indianapolis, IN This project continues to extend the aircraft parking ramp for FedEx at the Indianapolis hub. Work includes excavation storm drain pipe and structures, tethers, under drains, lime treated sub base, popcorn base and PCC Paving. We look forward to another smooth running project similar to phases 1 and 2. Excavation started in March and, weather permitting, we will finish early and under budget as we did on earlier phases. We look forward to working with some new team members representing the airport. Job 28, I-465 PCCP patching & repair, Marion County, IN This project is similar in scope to the many PCCP patching projects we have completed in Kentucky and Ohio. Work must be finished this fall and we anticipate starting in early June. The Job is located on the South East side of Indianapolis and I-465 is the circle freeway around Indianapolis. Job 29, Taxiway construction at the McGhee Tyson Airport, Knoxville, TN We were low bidder on this job on May 1st. Work involves construction of a new 1,500 foot long concrete taxiway. The project must be complete this season and is in two phases. We anticipate an award in late May with work to start in June.

Can Anyone Guess Who This Groovy Dude Is?

The year was 1976.......... This Harper employee played defensive end for the University of Kentucky. In 1976, he earned his first varsity letter, finishing the year with 24 solos and 17 assists. The same year UK went to the Peach Bowl and he had five solos and two assists in that game. Our mystery guy also caused a fumble, "sacked" the quarter back and had a tackle for loss. He returned again to play in 1977.

Since 1950, there has been a federal motor fuels tax on gasoline. The initial revenue was used to finance the construction of the Interstate Highway System. From an initial tax rate of 1.5 cents per gallon, the tax on gasoline has been raised several times over the last 50 years, bringing the current rate to 18.3 cents per gallon. Under current law, the revenue generated from the federal gasoline tax is deposited in the Federal Highway Trust Fund to finance federal investments in road construction and mass transit projects. The result is a "user fee" system in which the people who use the nation's roads the most, pay more federal gasoline taxes and thereby pay more for the repair and reconstruction of our national transportation system.

Taxes, Traffic & Politics By: Bruce Huff

(continued )

Job Updates

By: Jim Thomas

Since 1970, the federal fuels tax on gasoline has been changed four times. On April 1, 1983, the rate was increased from 4.0 cents to 9.0 cents per gallon. On January 1, 1987, the rate increased to 9.1 cents per gallon. As of December 1, 1990, the rate went up to 14.1 cents per gallon, and was raised again on October 1, 1993, to 18.4 cents per gallon. Finally, as of January 1, 1996, the rate was lowered to its current rate of 18.3 cents per gallon. While the rate has increased four and a half fold between 1970 and 2000, its real value has actually declined. In real terms, the federal tax on gasoline in 2000 was worth just over 3.1 cents per gallon or 77.5 % of its value in 1970. The 1993 increase brought the real tax rate back to its 1970 value, but improved vehicle efficiency and rising construction costs eroded the value of the tax over the years. Construction material costs have increased by 40 % alone not to mention the cost of labor and fueling of equipment. Since that time, auto and truck traffic have almost doubled with only a 6.6% increase in highway capacity. Traffic congestion costs the traveling public 4.2 billion lost hours and 2.9 billion gallons of wasted fuel annually. It also costs the trucking industry more than $8 billion in delays and threatens the nation's economic competitiveness as those delays continue to increase. So common sense tells us that we would do well to increase investment in our highways to cut congestion and lower the time we spend idling in traffic each day. While everyone would enjoy a "holiday" on paying taxes, politicians should not be playing games with one of the most efficient use of tax dollars in America. Maybe they need to consider the 34,779 jobs every $1 billion in federal highway investment helps to create, including yours and mine.

Job 10, Shelbyville By-Pass @ Shelby County, KY We are a subcontractor to Kay & Kay on this job. The work involves building a new by-pass around Shelbyville, which is between Louisville and Frankfort. The project includes over one million yards of grading, two bridges, storm drains, new utilities and much landscaping. We will be constructing the concrete pavement, cement treated drainage base, dense graded aggregate, under drains and miscellaneous concrete work. The pavement is 10 inches and mostly all 24 feet wide mainline with asphalt shoulders. This is a very clean mainline paving job of about 150,000 square yards. Grading and bridge work are under way now. Some DGA was placed on detours this spring and it looks like our work will not start until mid to late summer at best. Job 16, Ky. River Lock & Dam replacement, Fayette County, KY We are a subcontractor on this project, making and delivering concrete for CJ Mahan. The job is constructing a new low flow dam across the KY river. The work is projected to take over one year to complete, with concrete needs varied throughout. Much of the concrete must be placed under water through a pump. We have designed a mix using retarders, super plasticizers and anti-wash additives to fit the needs of this project. We are about half finished with this project. The first pour for 2008 was completed in early May and as the river water level permits, the remaining pours will continue for a fall finish. Job 17, FedEx Cargo Ramp Expansion, Phase Two, Indianapolis, IN This job further extends the Fed-Ex Ramp at the Indianapolis Airport. Concrete paving was finished in late September on this project. Remaining items of work include re-compaction of some 54 inch RCP trench and dressing up the area along South Perimeter Road. Job 18, Midfield Transfer Fuel Lines, Indianapolis, IN This job involves building new jet fuel lines from the new fuel farm to the new Mid-Field Terminal Ramp. The project requires some bore & jack, open cut and constructing a couple large Vaults for fuel line valves. We are subcontracting out the welding of the fuel lines as well as the bore & jacking work. Work started on this project the middle of June and will last through the middle of next year. Work has progressed well, given some design changes and working around other contractors. The wet spring months slowed production and we are now looking at completion around the first of June. Job 25, I-275 Rehabilitation, Boone County, KY The second phase of reconstructing the Western most portion of I-275 in Kentucky started in April and switched all traffic to the West bound lanes we built last season. Crews will utilize our new slip form paver to build the East bound lanes this summer. By mid-summer paving should be complete and traffic will be using the new pavement. Job 26, Repair / Reconstruct retaining walls along Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH Bud and his crews have been working on this project since spring. Work involves filling in old stair cases that were originally built in the retaining wall on the West end on Columbia Parkway. In addition, various sections are being repaired using partial depth and full depth repair methods. This project should be completed by early summer.

Quality Control Gets A New Look

If you see Steve Robbins walking around with a smile on his face. This is whythe quality control lab now has a new look. What a difference some walls and paint can do! A big thanks goes out to all the guys who spent time working on the lab to make it look so nice.



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