While President Franklin Roosevelt was announcing "highway funds now available are insufficient to meet the needs for better highways demanded by heavier and faster automobile traffic" Illinois was awarding contracts. In March of 1937, R. A. Cullinan was awarded Sec. 5 (MFT) 2.74 miles 18-feet traffic bound surface course, earth grading and pipe culvert for $10,582.48. This same year a handful of foresighted contractors, D. E. Lynch, Judd Weatherby, Ray Ellison and Robert Scales, met at the St. Nick Hotel in Springfield. They had a dream and were prepared to pursue that dream. Knowing there is strength in numbers, these pioneers decided to organize as the Illinois Bituminous Distributors Association.
At their first formal Annual Meeting in Springfield in 1938, Acting Chairman Judd B. Weatherby, (Weatherby Construction Corp. of Ottawa,) conducted the business meeting. D. E. Lynch, Sr., (D. E. Lynch & Sons), was elected President of the new Association and held this post for three one-year terms.
In 1941, with increased highway construction and new technologies being developed, the Bituminous Distributors adopted a new, more accurate name, the Illinois Blacktop Roads Association. Ray Ellison, of Carthage Construction, was elected President. The Association immediately gained recognition by the trade magazines and became an integral part of the construction industry. The Illinois Blacktop Roads Association met each November to reassess their industry and elect new officers.
From 1941 until 1967 the Illinois Blacktop Road Association promoted the image of their product and the quality of their work and became consistently more viable as a group.
In 1967, under the leadership of E. L. Docter of Maclair Asphalt Company, the membership voted to enhance their imageby modernizing their name. The Illinois Asphalt Pavement Association technically defined the goals they wanted to achieve in the rapidly growing highway construction and maintenance program. The new name opened new doors for opportunity and the Association became stronger, more technical and more visible.
From the handful of optimistic and perceptive pioneers who in 1937 saw the future of the use of bituminous material, our industry and Association have grown to be the giant. As we look back over well more than a half century of "progress and to our future accomplishments and goals", the Illinois Asphalt Pavement Association will continue to build the dream of our forefathers. Recognition is given to the gentlemen who have lead our Association through financial droughts, war times, technical triangles, price escalation and combats of competition --
To All of Our Founders, Presidents, and to All IAPA Members:
CONGRATULATIONS! WE'VE COME A LONG WAY...
And Yet Our Journey Has No End, Our Progress Knows No Bounds.