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Pothole Patrol: How potholes are repaired

Posted: 8:57 AM, Mar 01, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-22 15:59:54-04
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TUCSON, Ariz. — Tucson and Pima County have pothole problems that they battle on a daily basis. But when it rains, the existing issues with potholes balloon to include hundreds of additional calls for repair.

TDOT has added 25 additional staff members this week to address these calls for work. Those workers have been working 10 hours daily to squelch some of the backlog.A pothole's life starts with a slight crack in the asphalt pavement.

Then, water gets in and expands the crack to a wider joint.Add traffic rolling over it thousands of times a month and the crack begins to lose the rock component that's mixed into the asphalt.After several days and extending to a few weeks of non-repair: much of the roadway material breaks away and a pothole is formed.

Fixing them is a fairly simple, but multi-step process. Workers add tack oil to the pothole and surrounding area, so the new asphalt that's applied will "stick" to the existing road.

Then, patching asphalt is dropped into the hold. Workers with forming tools push the repair material around, covering the surrounding area.

Finally a portable rolling machine rolls over the asphalt mound, compressing the excess material into the pothole.It's an art to estimate how much material will fit into the hole before it's packed down and how much is too much and has to be removed.

If you happen to see some potholes that need filling, let us know.Send a picture and location of it to: potholes@kgun9.com

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