It was neat to read, in yesterday’s Brandon Sun, about a money-saving effort by the City of Brandon that is better, as well as cheaper.
A new pothole filling machine, in use for the last three months or so, will save the city thousands of dollars, do a better job filling the potholes, and will divert asphalt shingles from the landfill, helping to extend its life.
That’s a home run, in our books.
While it’s not the sexiest city initiative, street maintenance is an important core civic service —right up there with collecting trash and plowing snow.
And you don’t even have to be paying much attention to notice that bumpy roads are one of Brandon’s top gripes.
Obviously, it’s impossible to eliminate potholes. Mother Nature is behind the freeze-thaw cycle that pops them out of the ground every spring.
But the city’s new pothole filling machine can help fill the unsightly, dangerous gashes in less than 20 minutes.
Recycled asphalt and shingles from the landfill are mixed with asphalt mix at a temperature over 350 F to create new asphalt, which is then applied directly to the pothole.
Previously, the city relied on a winter mix to temporarily — very temporarily — fill potholes until the weather warmed up enough for the central asphalt mixing factory to open and for a permanent fix to be applied.
There’ll be no waiting on fixes done by the new machine, and they are expected to be just as permanent, although that won’t be known for sure until next spring.
So, not only will the machine provide a better, faster fix, city crews won’t have to return to the same pothole to shovel winter mix in, again and again.
Although this late in the summer, the city is mostly focused on full road repairs. People can still call in potholes to the hotline, at 204-729-2200, or report them online at brandon.ca.
After a pothole complaint, the city’s target is to have the hole filled within five days and it says it meets that target an estimated 90 per cent of the time.
We’re as frustrated with potholes and other evidence of our infrastructure deficit as the next person, but this is a definite step in the right direction, and we applaud the city for it.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 23, 2013