Mayor Bloomberg and Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan today unveiled a new pothole filing machine and launched the start of road paving season, a months-long, dedicated campaign to resurface streets citywide to maintain them in a state of good repair. The new pothole machine is currently being tested and is designed to fill potholes with fewer crew members and only block one lane of traffic while making road repairs.
Last fiscal year, Department of Transportation crews filled a record 418,000 potholes citywide following extreme winter weather and crews have filled nearly 164,000 potholes so far this fiscal year. The mild temperatures in the past few months enabled crews to extend paving operations through the winter in streets in all five boroughs through targeted resurfacing, strip-paving and wear-and-tear projects that address larger surfaces along key corridors. The department has resurfaced nearly 650 lane miles across the city this fiscal year. The City also is deploying new environmentally friendly treatments such as green asphalt and Aquaphalt Water Curable Cold Patch. The Mayor and Commissioner Sadik-Khan made the announcement in Flushing, Queens today, where they joined a roadway repair crew.
“Keeping our streets in good condition is essential to our economy and to our quality of life – and that’s why we are always looking for ways to do the job more efficiently,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “We’re debuting new technology to repair city streets faster, while closing less lanes to traffic. We also took advantage of the mild winter this year and resurfaced additional key corridors to get a jump on repaving season, and we are on track to repave 1,000 lane miles of city streets this year.”
“While DOT crews work to repair streets across the city, we’re testing new technology that can help achieve smoother streets in faster, more efficient ways,” said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. “By applying innovative techniques to street repairs, we are stepping up our efforts to make sure our roadways continue to be in a state of good repair.”
The new Python pothole filling machine uses a telescoping arm to place and compact the material used in pothole repairs. It is operated by a single crew member, and allows potholes to be filled from inside the vehicle, maximizing efficiency and safety. The self-contained unit has an arm that can apply the asphalt patch and features a one-ton roller that increase the durability of the repair. Additionally, the Python carries its own hot-asphalt for repairs, eliminating the need for a trailer for materials and other construction equipment. The Department of Transportation will test the Python for several weeks, and observe and monitor the results of its repairs over the coming months.
The Department of Transportation continues to invest in technology and research and development to improve street conditions. The agency introduced Green Asphalt into its operations this year for pothole repairs. It is composed of 100 percent recycled asphalt product from New York City’s streets. The agency also is testing a Rosco, another all-in-one pothole repair machine, and a Falcon Asphalt Trailer, which more heats asphalt more evenly to further optimize its pothole repairs. The department now uses electric screeds in resurfacing operations, as well as cold patch, temporary pothole-repair material made from plant-based materials. It also is testing new roadway treatments such as porous asphalt material that provides more traction during inclement weather and Aquaphalt Water Curable Cold Patch, a plant-based, water activated quick-curing pothole filler.
Earlier this year, the City introduced the new street ratings map that allows New Yorkers to see a particular street’s rating and when it was last repaved. This builds on the agency’s ongoing efforts to share information about the important work to restore streets and roadways across all five boroughs. The Department of Transportation also continues to chronicle its roadway repair and maintenance work on “The Daily Pothole” blog. The site tracks the agency's pothole-filling efforts with photos of crews making repairs. The number of potholes filled and lane miles resurfaced are updated regularly, and it allows the public to report potholes easily.