New truck will make street repairs last longer

Published 7:34 pm Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Public Works employees have begun training to utilize the city’s newest piece of equipment, an asphalt pothole patcher truck.

In mid-April, Mayor George Evans announced the purchase of an asphalt pothole patcher truck purchased by the city for $175,000.

The truck is expected to cut back on material expenses while extending the longevity of road repairs.

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“It’s going to be an asset to the city,” Public Works director Tommy Smith said. “We got plenty of patches that we got to put asphalt in.”

Annual payments of $37,000 for the truck will not begin until April 2017.

Smith said the truck will reduce on material costs because the truck can keep the asphalt at working temperature longer.

“We can keep [the asphalt] until we use it all up out of the truck,” Smith said. “That’s the most important part of it.”

Before the purchase, repairs were made by hand with heated asphalt in the back of a truck. Smith said the issue with this was the workers had no way to keep the asphalt at working temperature. Often, the material would harden before it could be used.

The new truck has elements that can heat the asphalt up to 250 degrees. The truck can also keep the asphalt warm overnight, even when the truck isn’t in use. The truck also includes a stamper, to set and spread the asphalt.

Because of this, the quality of the repairs is improved and therefore increasing its longevity.

“As we do it, it may last two or three months. Depending on the weather, it may not even last that long,” Evans said. “When the potholes are repaired properly, they will stay repaired for five to seven years.”

Smith said the city has added additional features to expand the truck’s use beyond road repairs.

With the additional features, the truck can be used as a sand spreader to distribute sand on bridges and roads during icy weather.

Before, the city would have to outsource equipment to spread sand, according to Smith.

“I think this is going to help all the way around,” Evans said. “It’s going to be nothing but a plus for us.”