Archive for Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New equipment allows Lawrence road crews to fix potholes in winter

Lawrence road crews tested a new tool for fixing the city's potholes on Wednesday, Nov. 17. It's a $168,000 piece of equipment called a spray injection patcher.

November 17, 2010

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City of Lawrence street crews use a new machine Wednesday that repairs potholes with a method called spray injection patching. The method, which also is used by the Kansas Department of Transportation, allows the city to make lasting fixes to potholes during winter.

City of Lawrence street crews use a new machine Wednesday that repairs potholes with a method called spray injection patching. The method, which also is used by the Kansas Department of Transportation, allows the city to make lasting fixes to potholes during winter.

The city of Lawrence has a new tool in its arsenal to fight those wretched winter potholes. It’s called spray injection patching.

A $168,000 piece of equipment arrived in Lawrence this fall that allows the city to spray a chip seal like substance into the city’s thousands of potholes.

“This is the latest and greatest,” said Tom Orzulak, the city’s street division manager. “A lot of people all over the country are using it.”

The method, which also is used by the Kansas Department of Transportation, is faster and requires fewer workers. But more importantly, assistant public works director Mark Thiel said, it allows the city to make lasting fixes to potholes during winter.

Before now, the cold mix asphalt that crews used during the winter wouldn’t last more than a couple of days. And the longer-lasting hot mix asphalt can only be used during warmer months.

“We’re doing the same thing as cold mix and hot mix. The difference is this technology is designed to last longer than a traditional patch,” Thiel said. “Ultimately, it saves the city money.”

On Wednesday morning, crews were out fixing a good-sized pothole near the corner of 12th Street and Almira Avenue.

The process, which takes just a few minutes and is a two-man job, involves blowing debris off the hole, spraying a layer of oil over the hole followed by a layer of oil-covered rocks and then topping it off with clean rocks.

Crews then rake over the hole to keep it even with the road. As soon as the hole is filled, cars can drive over it. The patch is permanent, lasting until the city rebuilds the road.

At first, Orzulak said it took some practice for the city’s crews to keep the holes even with the road. Which might explain why patches on the first roads the city fixed are a bit bumpy.

“It’s kind of like an art. … It’s like frosting a cake the first time,” Orzulak said. “We are getting better at it.”

Some of the first roads the city repaired with the new technology, such as Kasold Drive and Bob Billings Parkway, are slated to be rebuilt next summer.

The new equipment’s true test will come when it snows. During last year’s particularly harsh winter, crews fixed 400 to 500 potholes a day.

“I wish we would have had it last year,” Orzulak said.

Comments

Kampinqueen 4 years, 5 months ago

This is great news...I had a broken rim from pot holes the last 2 winters....it sucked!!!

jayhawkgirl3 4 years, 5 months ago

I hope this works and they get out there sooner than before. So tired of avoiding them.

lawrencehatesbusinesses 4 years, 5 months ago

I had a fly by night company put this stuff on my driveway except it had an epoxy resin. Now it's almost impossible to scrape off the snow from my driveway. I wonder how the snow plows will fare? But it's okay, the city might have to hire more people, which is a good thing. Big government always pays off.

akuna 4 years, 5 months ago

I was going to post a flippant comment like this but was beat to the punch. The early bird gets the worm, eh?

kansasredlegs 4 years, 5 months ago

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croutons 4 years, 5 months ago

it's always great to hear about new technology.

it's also nice to hear about it actually being used successfully.

sditt54 4 years, 5 months ago

Nice! Hope it works as advertised. Looks like a great solution to a perennial problem.

cowboy 4 years, 5 months ago

It will be good once the city crews learn how to use it. They have used it extensively on Kasold south of 23 rd and it is like a mogul run now. Perhaps they need to have a roller come over it after the application.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 5 months ago

Isn't that stretch of road scheduled to get redone soon? If so, it's a good place to practice.

parrothead8 4 years, 5 months ago

I'd rather they "practice" on a stretch of road that doesn't get used as much as Kasold.

scopi_guy 4 years, 5 months ago

Lots of these patches on Kasold around 15th St. I drive over them every day. I wish they would have 'practiced' on a less-traveled road. I wonder what will happen the first time snow plows go over them? They feel like a speed bump when you drive over one of them.

Scruggsy 4 years, 5 months ago

Do you have 10,000 or so cars and large trucks per day in your cul-de-sac? Apples to oranges.

Scruggsy 4 years, 5 months ago

My point is that as stated in the article, cold patch only lasts a few days, and is then blasted right back out of the hole by traffic. This uses different material that might last longer, "saving the city money"!!!!! Nothing against people using shovels.

Kris_H 4 years, 5 months ago

I wonder if this is similar to the machine I saw being used in Topeka this summer. It was a 2-man crew and it didn't take them long to patch the canyon that had developed on the street right where it joins my driveway. I think they did have some kind of stomper on the machine to tamp down the stuff, but it has an asphalt overlay, can't see any rocks in it.

There are more than likely a few more potholes in the city of Lawrence than in somebody's cul-de-sac, you think? Divide the cost of this machine by (the number of potholes it can fix over the course of its lifetime + salary for two employees for x amount of time) to get the true cost per pothole.

Kris_H 4 years, 5 months ago

Well, as usual my math is screwy, but I think you get the point.

grimpeur 4 years, 5 months ago

We choose to drive. Everywhere. Alone. Short distances and long.

So, yes. Personal choices lead to public expense.

windjammer 4 years, 5 months ago

I hate to tell you Mr. Orzulak but that patch in the video is not a pothole. That patch and many more like it in East Lawrence was caused by the snow plows last winter. If you will look close you will see the previous asphalt in the yard. Also the plows hit both of those metal pipes in the right of that picture. If you would like I will take you for a ride and show you many places that the previous asphalt was taken up the same way. And let me tell you most all of this was caused by the plows plowing two feet off the road surface. I think the drivers need to identify that East lawrence streets are not the same as streets with curbing. I saw the plows do my street seven times in one hour and then get stuck in the ditch four or five feet off the road. That may not happen again though as that driver who cleaned our streets way too much has been fired. But the rest of the crew needs to be retrained.

Jacks_Smirking_Revenge 4 years, 5 months ago

I wonder which is better for a car's suspension, hitting potholes or hitting those speed bumps they created on S. Kasold? Can't wait for that stretch of road to get rebuilt.

KU_cynic 4 years, 5 months ago

It'll be nice when it's done.

It will be a nightmare while it's being worked on.

Jacks_Smirking_Revenge 4 years, 5 months ago

I wonder which is better for a car's suspension, hitting potholes or hitting those speed bumps they created on S. Kasold? Can't wait for that stretch of road to get rebuilt.

Flap Doodle 4 years, 5 months ago

According to one prolific LJW poster, potholes make excellent traffic-calming devices.....

irvan moore 4 years, 5 months ago

this should end up saving the city money and making the roads better and safer.

irvan moore 4 years, 5 months ago

this should end up saving the city money and making the roads better and safer.

Ralph Reed 4 years, 5 months ago

I'll wager this device will be seldom seen south of 23rd and east of Mass, maybe even Louisiana.

@snap, re: your 0812. Judging by your comment, Breezedale should have the most calm and safe streets in town.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 5 months ago

This is big brother government intervention socialism.

Let the free market fill the pot holes!

giveitback 4 years, 5 months ago

I have seen these machines patch before. The City of Olathe has used one for a couple of years now. They do "surface repairs". Alligatoring is what some call it. If you are going to do any kind of a depth of a half inch or better, you need to put in some sort of filler like cold mix or Asphalt. It seals the repair so more damage will not accure. No such a thing as a Base Repair in a Can! When Asphalt becomes deteriorated and falls apart, it needs to be removed and replaced. Something you cannot always do in the winter months. These are the tools we have to use here in the Midwest. Kudos to the street department!

50YearResident 4 years, 5 months ago

This is one city expense that I fully agree on! Money well spent. Now I want to see it being used. Until the pothole repairs are caught up, I think this could be used 24 hours per day.

scopi_guy 4 years, 5 months ago

I saw it in use there a few weeks ago. It seems like a great tool, but they need to find a way to level out the repairs!

Richard Payton 4 years, 5 months ago

Take a photo behind the alley at 6th & 7th street to see the rocks & oil patch job. Looks like crap and now I know why it saves the City money!

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