(Originally published in the Tampa Bay Times – © 2016 Tampa Bay Times)

GARY AB

Coastal Bridge operations manager Gary Gauthreaux stands in front of an asphalt mixing drum and in the control room of the new Asphaltbabe. Photo by Eric Vician. hillsevbiz030416:

Gary Gauthreaux can wax poetic about all things asphalt.

Coastal Bridge, a Baton Rouge- based heavy contractor serving the southeastern Louisiana area since 1928, is bringing its expertise in asphalt paving to town after purchasing and renovating the former Better Roads plant in Gibsonton.

Owner Kelly Sills will do business in the Tampa area as #Asphaltbabe, a name he came up with in an effort to better market the Coastal Bridge services.

This plant is the company’s fourth, but first in Florida. They celebrated their grand opening Feb. 25 with, what else, but a few hundred pounds of crawfish.

According to Gauthreaux, Coastal Bridge lays about a half- million tons of asphalt annually in Louisiana. He expects to do a fraction of that business in Florida, but will stay true to the company’s roots of being open to everybody, including the handyman who just wants to patch his own driveway or small business parking lot.

“We will still tend to small contractors,” he said. “We sell to the public.”

The staff at #Asphaltbabe expects to service a 50-mile radius.

To order asphalt, call (813) 672-1800 or stop by 6225 Powell Road.