Repairing potholes is a year around job for the Omaha Public Works Department. During the winter the asphalt plant is closed so the City uses a machine to recycle left over asphalt and turn it into a hot-patch material that is used to fill the holes.
"We take that asphalt and load it into the machine, which has a rotating drum and diesel fired torch," says Street Maintenance Engineer Austin Rowser. "We heat that material back up to 400 degrees and it falls back apart into hot asphalt."
Rowser says they then put the fresh batches into heated trailers and start filling potholes with the mix, which lasts longer than the cold patches crews previously used.
"The machine that we have here (96th & F) can produce between one to two tons every time we run it," Rowser says. "It takes between 20 to 45 minutes to make one batch and we can generally patch about ten potholes out of that."
Rowser says winter time patching is more difficult because of the weather. "We've got a lot of moisture out there with all of that snow that is melting, gets warmer during the day and freezes at night. The conditions still aren't favorable."
But he says the recycled asphalt is still a longer lasting solution that the cold-patch option, allowing drivers to have a less bumpy ride across town during the winter months.
If you want to report a pothole call 402-444-5555.