On NYC Streets, Big Test for Competing Pothole Machines

The Python pothole-filling machine is operated by one person from inside the vehicle’s cab, which maximizes safety and efficiency, according to Mayor Bloomberg’s office. A Rosco machine also is being tested.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan announced March 19 that the city is testing two pothole-filing machines during this year’s road paving season, including a Python machine that needs just one operator and blocks one lane of traffic while making road repairs. Potholes are being filled this year with 100 percent recycled asphalt from the city’s streets, and the department is testing Aquaphalt Water Curable Cold Patch, a plant-based, water-activated, quick-curing pothole filler.

It’s a mammoth job. During the past fiscal year, department crews filled a record 418,000 potholes throughout the city, and they have filled nearly 164,000 potholes this fiscal year, getting an early start on filling and repaving because of mild temperatures recently.

Bloomberg and Sadik-Khan joined a roadway repair crew to watch the Python in action. “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,” the mayor said. “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,” Sadik-Khan said.

The Python machine uses a telescoping arm to place and compact the filling material. Being operated by one person from inside the vehicle’s cab means it maximizes efficiency and safety, according to the mayor’s office. The machine has a one-ton roller and carries its own hot asphalt for repairs.

The department also is testing a Rosco all-in-one pothole repair machine.

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