By Danielle Nelson
*This article is posted on The Express Times website.
Bethlehem Mayor Bob Donchez talks about the newest tool in the city’s war on potholes June 3, 2014. Shown behind Donchez is the LeeBoy RA-400 Spray Patcher truck, which allows two workers to fill and patch potholes quicker. Photo Credit Bill Adams | The Express-Times
Mayor Bob Donchez today unveiled a new tool for pothole repair.
Bethlehem acquired a new LeeBoy RA-400 spray patcher truck on Monday to fix the countless number of potholes that developed throughout the city due to the harsh winter.
“This new equipment will aid the city in efficiently maintaining our nearly 500 miles of road infrastructure,” Donchez said.
The city paid $207,000 for the piece of equipment from the 2013-14 capital projects bond.
The truck is designed to clean the pothole by blowing out debris that’s lodged inside the hole before spraying tack coat onto the surface. A mixture of clean stones and hot asphalt, which is heated to 150 degrees, is then used to fill the hole, according to Rick Lechman with the city’s public works department.
A final layer of stone is sprayed on top, keeping motorists from picking up the asphalt on their tires.
In an effort to quickly repair the potholes throughout the city, the mayor also announced a pothole hotline that motorists who encounter potholes may call. The pothole hotline number is 610-865-7053, and the pothole locations will be logged for repair.
The new machine allows for only one maintenance worker to operate the truck as opposed to the four-member patch gang that previously tackled the city’s potholes, according to officials.
The truck will operate at least nine to 10 months a year provided temperatures stay above freezing. The truck is also designed to repair other irregular road conditions.
Since the city received the new machine on Monday, Lechman said, nearly 75 potholes have been repaired.
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