You’ve heard of spray-on tans. But what about spray-on pavement?
This month the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) completed a one-year test of a spray technology for filling potholes – a project that helped the department realize more than $21,000 in savings.
One year ago, ODOT began piloting the technology in Tuscarawas County, in ODOT’s District 11 — a seven-county area in eastern Ohio. The machine used to fill the potholes sprays the problem areas with pressurized air to clean the pothole, then sprays it with a tar substance. Once the tar has been applied, a gravel aggregate is sprayed on top to fill the hole, said Tom Corey, the highway management administrator for ODOT’s District 11.
“The advantage of this is we get a clean, dry hole, and that’s really important when you’re dealing with any asphalt product,” Corey said.
Paving the Way for New Technology
Newer pavement technology has changed the way roads are paved in some states. Last year, the Virginia Department of Transportation began installing “quiet pavement,” technology: an “open-graded mix” that differs from traditional hot-mix asphalt since it reduces hydroplaning, tire noise, splash and spray.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the Cook County, Ill., Highway Department recently began testing pavement technology that brings hot pavement filler directly to potholes.
He said during the pilot phase, those operating the spray equipment were trained by the vendor. Now that a full implementation is taking place, the department hopes to train two ODOT road maintenance staff per county in the district to operate the machinery.
But special training will be required for the maintenance crew, said the department’s public information officer Becky Giauque.
“Because it is very specific type of equipment, so we’re going to make sure that we have a well trained workforce on this equipment,” Giauque said.