All States Materials Group site visit shows proposed railcar storage site in Deerfield

  • Storage for liquid asphalt at the All States Materials Group facility in Deerfield. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • The quarry area at the All States Materials Group facility in Deerfield as seen from atop a pile of reclaimed asphalt waiting to be reused in paving projects. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • At the All States Materials Group lab facility in Deerfield, Diana Szynal, executive director of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, Robert Betsold of ASMG and state Rep. Natalie Blais, D-Sunderland, listen as John North, liquid asphalt manager, explains how different mixes are combined for different road applications on Wednesday during a tour. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Robert Betsold with All States Materials Group in Deerfield, at left, gives a tour of the liquid asphalt storage area to local and state officials on Wednesday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Standing where a five-spur rail yard will be built at All States Materials Group in Deerfield are, from left, Senior Vice President Seth Hankowski, Transportation Manager David Bonnett, state Rep. Natalie Blais, D-Sunderland, state Sen. Jo Comerford, D-Northampton, Tim Doherty of Pan Am Railways and Diana Szynal, executive director of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 12/19/2021 10:27:37 PM
Modified: 12/19/2021 10:27:22 PM

DEERFIELD — Local representatives took a tour of All States Materials Group’s (ASMG) Deerfield facility last week as the company prepares to break ground on a railcar storage project.

ASMG, a Sunderland-based asphalt and building materials company, received a $500,000 Industrial Railroad Access Program (IRAP) grant from the state Department of Transportation to expand railcar storage at its facility at 901 River Road in Deerfield, which will alleviate railroad traffic and boost both ASMG and the local economy. The grant supports 31% of the total cost of the project.

“This is going to be incredibly impactful,” said ASMG Senior Vice President Seth Hankowski. “Specifically, it will grow the business, which leads to future employment.”

State Rep. Natalie Blais, D-Sunderland, state Sen. Jo Comerford, D-Northampton, and Diana Szynal, executive director of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, were all on hand to tour the railroad project’s site, another IRAP-funded facility expansion from 2020 and ASMG’s asphalt labs.

Blais said ASMG is vital to the region as it provides job opportunities and resources to Franklin County. She added the business is on the forefront of innovation and the fact that this is ASMG’s second IRAP grant shows the state is behind the business’ efforts.

“They are extremely important to the local economy,” Blais said. “(This second grant) speaks to the importance of their impact, not only to the region, but to the commonwealth.”

The new track switch will allow 12 railroad cars to be stored at a time, which “takes pressure off the railroad,” while also allowing ASMG to work on the train cars that are being stored without blocking traffic.

“Essentially it’s 24/7 capability,” said Robert Betsold, ASMG’s technical marketing manager. “This will remove dependency on trucking.”

Dave Bonnett, project manager for the railcar storage project, said ASMG wants to “get this done sooner rather than later.” He said the state grant has a completion deadline of June 1, but Hankowski said they hope “to see it done and usable by mid-April.”

The Industrial Railroad Access Program is a public and private partnership program created by the state in 2012 that helps applicants invest in railroad infrastructure projects. The goals of the program are to “stimulate economic development, grow Massachusetts corporations, keep manufacturing jobs and create new jobs through increased efficiency, production capacity and improved distribution logistics,” according the state’s webpage detailing the program.

According to Betsold and other ASMG representatives, the company employs 500 people and approximately 200 in western Massachusetts. It also has a fleet of 670 registered vehicles with about “400 trucks on the road.”

The tour brought the group into two of ASMG’s asphalt labs, where solutions are mixed and a recipe for each project is perfected. In the labs, Betsold explained the ins and outs of its operations and the industry as a whole.

“We’re heavily involved on the local, regional and national level. … There’s collaboration across all the players in the industry,” Betsold said. “The normal, driving public has no idea how advanced of an industry it is.”

After the tour, Szynal said ASMG was “awesome, as always” and there is always “so much going” on at its Deerfield facility.

“It drives home the impact,” Szynal said of the tour. “The impact in terms of quality jobs and supply. … We are so grateful to have them as chamber members.”


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