In a break from repairs done in previous years, Community Development Director Ben Skipper decided to use hot asphalt and saw cuts to repair the roads as opposed to the cold asphalt used before. Hot asphalt, he told the council during its Sept. 11 meeting, has the dual benefits of being cheaper and more durable.
City Manager Pat Crook said the project cost the city approximately $10,000 to $12,000, with the hot asphalt costing $60 per ton. She favorably compared it to previous patching projects contracted out that cost roughly $3,000 for the one job. The savings came from using the hot asphalt and having city employees carry out the work.
“The guys, you know, I think they kind of enjoyed doing something a little bit different and they’d never done it before. So they learned how and at the end of it I think they’ve gotten pretty good at it. I think they were kind of proud of their work,” Crook said.
By rotating city employees in and out of the patching crew, the city was able to expand on its recent goal to cross-train employees in different jobs and add to each employee’s skills. The project also gave each department the opportunity to fix underlying problems that created the potholes.
“[With] some of the worst ones they discovered that there were water leaks underneath them and they did take the time and go in and ... instead of just patching they tried to do some replacement of some lines,” Crook said.
The repair process also allowed water department employees to identify areas with drainage problems. These areas were recorded and, according to Crook, will be considered the next time the city starts a drainage project. Water and gas lines needing replacement or further repairs were recorded as well.
Areas needing patching were selected from a list created earlier in the year when Crook and Adairsville Police Chief Robert Jones drove through the city and recorded each pothole’s location.
“We went around, the chief [and I], because the patrols cars are out there all the time, and we just mapped every pothole. It was over 100 just working from the center of downtown outward,” Crook said.
There are still a number of potholes left to be repaired throughout the city, Crook added, so the project will continue next year. She was pleased with the progress made so far as she thought it was being done the right way.
“I have no idea how long it’s been since the city has done this — if ever — correctly,” she said. “In the past they have used cold patching, kind of packed it in with a shovel, and it pops right back up. So we decided we’d saw-cut it and do it properly.”