Metro Public Works crews are waging a constant battle against pot holes on city streets, but a new piece of technology is now letting workers give problem spots a permanent fix.
"It's a permanent solution versus a classic temporary solution," said Mark Macy, Public Works assistant director of engineering.
When it comes to fixing pot holes, the hotter the better.
The traditional way of patching potholes has been to dump asphalt into the bad spot on road, but new equipment uses an infrared heater to get things started.
"Because the old asphalt and the new asphalt are both hot, it bonds together very nicely and prevents water from seeping under it," Macy said.
Crews then scrape away an inch of the old asphalt once its heated, and smooth, new pavement is put down in its place.
Finally, a special chemical helps tie the layers together. The new repair method should hold much longer than the old method, which typically cracks as soon as temperatures fall below freezing, the department says.
So far, Metro has two of the infrared repair trucks. Public Works started testing the equipment last year, and now can't use them enough.
"It means less potholes. It means not having to come back and do them again this winter," Macy said.
Public Works is responsible for maintaining about 5,700 miles of paved roads throughout Davidson County, so the new trucks can't be everywhere at once.
"We try to fill in these holes within 24 hours after hearing a complaint, so there's still a need for a temporary patch," Macy said.
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