Those pesky holes that form when the asphalt fails because the cold weather freezes and then warms up again, better known as potholes, have been a menace across City roads this year. But now instead of a cold patch, a more permanent asphalt will be used to repair them.
“We have been repairing them with reclaimed asphalt and cold patch. That is why they have been failing. Tilcon just opened so repairs can now be made with permanent asphalt,” said Michael Thompson, general foreman for the City. “The patches we do now will last. They are more permanent.”
Holes will be cleaned out and a tack compound will be put on and then hot asphalt that binds to it. Then it is rolled and let sit before cars can drive over it.
The hot patch is not affected by the rain so it won’t fall apart. It can also be used for a manhole or a catch basin.
The first potholes that are being repaired are those that have complaints from residents.
“Those are generally the biggest ones. After that we have the guys drive the snow routes and do all 13 routes and patch them as they go,” Thompson said.
There are a lot of potholes around the Oak St. area. The problem is the gas company is putting in new gas lines in that area. Trenches are failing and it is not potholes. The road has been on a repave list for two years, but the City cannot pave it until the gas company has completed the lines. The new lines are expected to be completed some time this year. The new lines are from North St. to Allen St.
“Everybody thinks we are ignoring them, but we are not. We are patching as we go,” said Thompson. “It is the trenches from the gas company that are failing.”
Potholes will be filled throughout the City by the end of May. It may take longer if the roads are bad.
There are certain areas such as Osgood Ave. and Slater Rd and Corbin Ave. near Governor St. which are particularly difficult. Thompson said if there is water underground it makes the road float.
“Those are the worst areas, but there are a few others that we know about,” said Thompson. “There must be springs underground somewhere that make it harder because the road is floating.”
Thompson said people should either use seeclickfix or call public works at 860-826-3480.
“We can’t see all 160 miles or roadway,” he said. “If you let us know, we can go to the areas, where the complaints are, faster.”
When people see potholes Thompson asks that they properly report them. Do not report them as a massive hole if they are not.
“We might go to that one and waste our time there when we could have been at one that really was massive,” he said. “The deep ones really need to go first, so the public needs to be honest. We know all potholes are bad, but some are far worse than others. Tell us if they are 3 inch deep, 6 inch deep or a foot deep.”