The Missouri Department of Transportation has started to use a mix in some places that allows crews to fix a pothole in about 15 minutes.
District maintenance engineer Jason Shafer said the new material is another tool in MoDOT’s box.
“This is very quick. It’s much quicker than if we’d go in, say, with concrete because concrete’s going to have to cure,” Shafer said.
The department has been using the material now for a little less than a year and is happy with the results. The local MoDOT office has used more of the material in Columbia than anywhere else, Shafer said.
“One of our maintenance supervisor’s made the statement that he said, ‘this is what I’ve been looking for for 15 years,'” Shafer said.
The newer material is also malleable, meaning crews can use less material to fix mistakes.
“The beauty of it is too, if say there’s a bump in it for whatever reason, you can go back heat it up and smooth that out. Even whether it’s later that day or two weeks later, it’s still that workable,” he said.
Shafer said MoDOT has been using the materials at busier locations such as Paris Road and Highway 63.
“It is not the cheapest tool that we have so we’re being very judicious where we do use it,” Shafer said.
Crews with Columbia Public Works have also been working to fill potholes as the weather has warmed up.
However, Richard Stone, engineering and operations manager at Columbia Public Works, said the moisture in the forecast this week is making it more difficult to fill potholes.
“We have to work around moisture. Right now, probably today, will be a problem a little bit because of the moisture coming in,” he said.
However, the city has a way to temporarily fill potholes even if moisture presents a problem, he said.
Even with the rain, he said Columbia still has crews out assessing potholes to make sure they will not be a hazard to drivers. Those that are hazardous can be repaired with a “cold mix” and then fixed permanently once the weather permits.
If a driver damages their vehicle in a pothole on a city road, they can report it to the city and follow a claims process. That does not mean the driver will be reimbursed for the damage, however. Stone said the city will review the claim and whether or not crews knew about the hole, along with other information.