STREETS & HIGHWAYS/Communities battle potholes with patching system
Potholes are like a recurring virus for roadway crews everywhere. As soon as one pothole is repaired, little time passes before it needs to be repaired again, or before another one pops up nearby. By using recycled plastic waste materials, several cities and counties, including Dallas, and Cobb and Fulton counties in Georgia, have found a permanent solution to their frequent pothole and road-wear problems. The solution, from Parsec Roadway Application Systems, Dallas, complies with the Federal Solid Waste Act mandating use of recycled materials in applications for federal road repair funds.
The system is installed prior to asphalt or concrete fill material. It includes a cross-laminated polyethylene liner that is placed on the bottom and up the sides of the hole to act as a foundation for the repair materials. The liner also prevents water intrusion. A polypropylene mesh sheet goes over the liner, and a half-inch PVC reinforcing rod is woven through the mesh sheet to absorb vehicle impact. Asphalt can then be poured over the entire setup.
Dallas experienced considerable difficulties with potholes as well as overall cracking on asphalt streets that are heavily traveled by buses and other weighty vehicles. Two years ago, road crews installed the patching system at multiple bus stops and have not had to repair the sites since, according to Coy Evans, manager of Dallas street operations. “We have a lot of bus and truck traffic, and we had a lot of problems with deterioration on streets,” he says. “[Using recycled materials is] working well for us.”