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Public Works rolls out new tech for rash of potholes

New fix for potholes

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Mild weather has helped keep some roads nice and smooth this winter.

That weather has made a U-turn this week to cold and snow.

“We haven’t been this cold since March of 2019,” WISH-TV meteorologist Tara Hastings said. “So, that gives you a little bit of a perspective.”

As the rain hits the pavement and those cold temperatures come in, we’re going to get hit with a rash of what drivers love to hate.

Indianapolis Department of Public Works says it has new technology to make sure those craters stay filled: creating new patching material out of the old stuff once it fails.

“It’s absolutely like recycling because we’re using the pavement that’s already on the surface,” said Ben Easley, Public Works’ chief communication officer. “Now, it will be most effective if we have additional hot-mix asphalt that we can add to it, just to make sure it’s level and all of the cracks and pieces that have popped out are filled in.”

Public Works says the technology works by superheating the existing patch to turn it back into goop.

“It’s almost like it just came from the asphalt plant,” Easley said. “So, it is getting to the point where it is able to be reset and resolidified in a really strong way.”

Public Works only has two machines capable of heating the road but say any repairs it makes should be some of the best motorists will see outside of a resurfacing project.

“Instead of just individual potholes, we can seal long stretches at any one time,” Easley said. “That’s helpful because there’s less cracks in the pavement which would allow precipitation to come in and freeze and then push potholes back out. So, larger swathes of pavement that are secured together makes for a better fix.”

Public Works says it’s done a couple of tests with the new technology that will officially roll out when the air is a little drier in the next couple weeks.