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Commission approves funding for pothole patching machine

The Dallas County Commission unanimously approved Dallas County Engineer Coosa Jones’ recommendation to purchase a pothole patching machine at Monday night’s Dallas County Commission meeting.
Jones said the machine, which will cost $65,000 – $70,000, will help the county catch up on filling potholes that are the beguilement of many Dallas County citizens.
Jones said the trailer mounted machine works by blowing compressed air into a pothole to clear it of any debris before a machine sprays liquid asphalt, creating a patch that does not have to be rolled.
Commissioner Roy Moore said that the machine could go a long way in improving road conditions the commissioner called “embarrassing”.
“We try to educate the public on what it takes to fill a pothole,” said Moore. “A lot of people think You just grab a truck fill it with asphalt and go fill the pothole, but that’s not the case. First of all, you’ve got to have asphalt. Second, You’ve got to make sure that asphalt contractors are running the asphalt. If they aren’t running asphalt, you’re dead in the water.”
Moore added that contractors do not run asphalt when it’s raining, when the weather is below 65 degrees or on Fridays.
The Commissioner said that Dallas County roads were simply “worn out” due the Dallas County population being much lower than when the roads were constructed.
Because of its lower population, Moore said that Dallas County no longer has the tax base to maintain regular upkeep of the roads.
“People just don’t understand what this commission is going through,” said Moore. “We’re one of the largest counties in the state. There are over 500 miles of gravel roads in this county and 500 miles of paved roads in this county. We simply cannot keep up with them with the revenue that’s coming in now… That’s simply the situation that we’re in now.”
Commissioner Larry Nickles said that the machine doesn’t require asphalt from contractors, so the Dallas County Road department can work on filling potholes on its own schedule, weather permitting.