Paula’s Possible (solutions)- Potholes

April 20, 2008 at 10:45 pm 26 comments


By the Way (BTW)-How many hopeful politicians do you see or hear from -that have lost in previous elections -at council today or helping in any other way?

Paula Tobias by Paula Tobias

To address anyone’s concerns:

#1 it is my goal to help the City/citizens, I am not trying to make anyone’s life difficult by offering suggestions.

I knew when I started my research on potholes that it was the end of the season and the conditions to test a new product would be a moot point. I am seriously concerned that we keep doing things because, “That’s the way we’ve always done it” or because the State or any other group does it this way.

If you were to use the State as an example of why we use the current cold patch the city has, have you driven down I 90 lately? This year they’ve had a terrible issue in the section between Colorado and Crocker/Bassett and the State has attempted to fill those holes as well. My point, the State hasn’t found the cure, don’t follow their precedent.

This was a Power Point Presentation I wanted to use at the last Council meeting but was “incapacitated”. I do not proclaim to be an expert but doing a little research, this is what I found.

Pothole Dilemma source

Potholes form when water becomes trapped beneath the pavement surface. Water can enter the road base through surface cracks or from road sides. The water freezes, often causing frost heaves. The ice melts from the top down, leaving a trapped pool of water. As vehicles run over it, the unsupported surface layer collapses. The pothole expands as traffic hits the hole.

In the summer, highway departments can take preventive measures such as sealing cracks and improving drainage. In the winter and spring the only alternative is pothole patching. To ensure a longer-lasting pothole patch, crews must apply the right combination of materials and procedures.

The “cold patch” method may be used for quick repairs before the weather
warms up, but “permanent” repairs should be held to the highest
standards. When so much money is spent to build our roads, they ought
to be better taken care of.

Since most asphalt damage that results in potholes was caused by
utility work, those companies should be required to pay the cost for
proper repairs so the road is returned to its previous condition. If
those repairs fail, they should also pay the cost to redo it. This
would force them to improve the quality control which would ultimately
save taxpayers and motorists the cost of future repairs.

Due to time constraints, workers rarely fix potholes the traditional way,

That process involves using a jackhammer to create a rectangle around the hole, removing the existing asphalt, filling the hole with 21 to 24 inches of gravel base, and covering the base with 4 to 6 inches of binder asphalt and another 2 inches of resurfacing hot asphalt.

The hot box is a portable trailer that warms the asphalt with a propane heater and is filled with asphalt each day from an asphalt plant.

Repairs can be performed during weather conditions, ranging from clear spring days to harsh winter storms, with temperatures from 0° to 100F. Repairs are generally performed as an emergency repair under harsh conditions or as a routine maintenance, scheduled for warmer and drier periods.

Place mixture into the pothole which may or may not be filled with water and debris. Use any type of hand tool such as a shovel or pitchfork to fill the hole. Fill the hole so that there is a crown in the center. Compact the material by rolling over it 6 to 8 times with truck tires.

Some crews have found it useful to cover the patch with sand before rolling a truck over the patch to prevent material from sticking to tires.

Check the level of the patch to make sure the center of the patch is ¼” to ½” above the pavement surface.
If the patch is low add more cold mix and repeat the patching steps again.
This method is similar to the standard “throw-and-go”, “dump-and-run” or the “pitch-and-pat” methods except truck tires compact the patches. Compaction provides a tighter patch for traffic to drive over it without creating depressions and it provides better water runoff. The extra 1 to 2 minutes to compact the patches will produce a significantly better patch.

Semi-permanent patching is the most widely recommended method of repair. It includes the following procedures:
 Remove water and debris from the pothole, using a broom, shovel, compressed air or whatever is available.
 Straighten pothole edges making sides as vertical as possible. This can be done using a jackhammer, pavement saw, or milling machine, etc.
 Place the mix by hand using a shovel and rake. Placement should be made in no more than 3″ lifts.
 Compact patch from the center towards the edges to provide better compaction at the edges and corners.
 Hand devices such as a vibratory plate compactor or single-drum vibratory rollers are recommended for this task.
This repair requires more equipment and workers than the throw-and-roll or spray injection methods, but results in a very tightly compacted patch.

Spray Injection
This method is quick, provides a long-lasting patch, and uses low cost materials. However, it requires a skilled operator to obtain a good patch and the equipment costs is higher than the other procedures. The spray-injection procedure consist of the following steps:
 Blow the hole clean and dry of water and debris.
 Spray a tack coat of binder on the sides and bottom of the pothole.
 Blow asphalt and aggregate into pothole.
The compaction is provided by the velocity or the aggregate sprayed into the hole.

Winter Patching
The best results are obtained by scheduling repair work during dry, warm weather. However, potholes usually form of wet and cold weather. In such cases, careful selection of materials and procedures is important to obtain a long-lasting patch.

 Aggregates for winter patching should be high quality, crushed aggregate with few fines.
 The binder should be emulsified asphalts with some anti-strip additive to prevent stripping of the asphalt.
 The mixture should be workable at low temperatures to allow both easier handling and compaction.

The most important aspect is that the binder-aggregate-additive mixture be compatible. Since winter patching seldom allows the time to use the semi-permanent procedure, use the throw-and-roll method with a high quality or highway department specified mix to provide a longer-lasting patch.

Patches placed in the spring have a longer life than those in the winter because of the more favorable weather and the end of the freeze-thaw cycle. Spring patching can be done by any of the procedures discussed above: the throw-and-roll, semi-permanent, or spray injection procedures. Cost and the availability of equipment and workers should be the most important criteria. null source

Managers should make sure that material stockpiled over the winter is workable in a range of temperatures. Materials workable at very low temperatures tend to be very sticky and hard to use at higher temperatures. High-quality crushed aggregate with few fines, and emulsified asphalt, should be used for spring patching. Antistripping additives are recommended to keep asphalt from stripping away from aggregates.

Traffix (a product I found online, the following is from their website)

Gives you what you cannot get in any other Road Patch
Successful in Sub-Freezing Weather
Temperature does not affect it. Use it anytime, all winter long. An all weather repair.
Built-In Primer
You do not need a bond or primer. They are built into the formula. . . guaranteeing a faster, easier application.
Wet Surface Application
Use it right after a snowstorm, or a rainstorm. The chuckhole does not have to be dry. Brush out dirt and debris and let the compacting agent SR-3 fit Traffix to the chuckhole.
Contains SR-3 the amazing technical discovery that gives you a time-proven pothole repair that is permanent, quick and inexpensive.
Other pothole repair products become so hard in cold weather they are useless. Once applied, they quickly loosen and pop out. Not with Traffix.

Traffix bonds perfectly to all types of road construction. Once applied, it stays put.
You can apply it on a wet or dry surface.
Traffix Features and Benefits Include:
Works in wet and frozen ground. Even sub-freezing.
An immediate, instant and permanent repair
Will not come up during extreme temperature changes
Built-In primer – Nothing to mix – ready to use.
Foolproof Results
No shrinkage after application.
Featheredges – no need to vertical chisel.
Ready for traffic immediately following application.
Stores indefinitely. Available in convenient 5 gallon pails or 55 gallon drums. No special tools required.

Cost of Traffix
minimum order 30 gallons
they also have a sale going on now For every 8 five gallon pails (40 gallons) of Traffix purchased, you will receive four pails free. That gives you 12 pails (60 gallons) for every 8 pails you buy.)
5 gallon pail – $103.55
55 gallon drum – $1,111.00

In the last 20 years (based on usage in 2007-2008 winter)

$400,000 cold patch
8,000 tons
Where is it now?

Down the sewer? (it certainly isn’t in the potholes that have been filled several times this winter) source
I received this email from the supplier:

I enjoyed speaking with you and appreciate your call.
One thing you may want to point out to the decision makers is that they will have full use of Traffix free for 30 days. They can use it in a multitude of potholes which is better than a small sample.
As I have mentioned several times, we would not be in business 50 years if we didn’t provide top of the line products backed by first rate service.
Traffix will absolutely, 100 per cent solve Lorain’s pothole problems like nothing else.
I sincerely hope they will use it and see for themselves that it does live up to all we claim.
It will not come up and like the other products will and it has an indefinite shelf life. Those are but two of its numerous benefits.
Louis Levin (Envirosnowmelt)

Entry filed under: city of lorain, opinion, Paula's Perspective.

Tears that tear the feeling heart Windows by Henery

26 Comments Add your own

  • 1. denise caruloff  |  April 21, 2008 at 11:56 am

    The mayor had stated that he does not want to damage the image of i am to assume with his “concern”…something will be done?.
    We do have an image to uphold you know. Thank goodness he feels this way!!!
    Luckily I have founds some routes that are good..(mostly out of Lorain).

  • 2. muley  |  April 21, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    ……working in downtown Cleveland, I very seldom talk to anyone from Lorain County. And the image that is portrayed to those outside Lorain is not a very “good” one. To those people, T.K. could not damage our image, it’s irrepairable.

  • 3. BTB  |  April 21, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    Another pot hole filling idea … my homemade oatmeal. It’s fairly inexpensive to make, made with no harsh chemicals, hardens very quickly in any kind of weather and is very durable!

  • 4. Roman  |  April 21, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    Paula, I may have missed this in the post so I apologize, but have you had the opportunity to discuss the use of Traffix with Chuck Camera? I’m wondering if maybe his department has investigated this product.

  • 5. thatwoman  |  April 21, 2008 at 7:23 pm

    I believe Paula must have contacted Mr. Camera because he mentioned Paula and also the product on the floor of City Council committee meeting last Monday . Loraine

  • 6. Paula Tobias  |  April 21, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    Yes, Mr. Camera and I have been in contact.

  • 7. Henery  |  April 21, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    Tony and I recently were able to talk, and I brought up the subject of the roads and the potholes. I regularly use Washington Ave, south of Tower, and watched a worker fill in the potholes with the soft patch. I also watched it snow two days later, and a week after that, there was little to no patch left in any of the holes.

    Tony mentioned that filling and refilling with the patch does little good except throwing away money, and a long-term plan is being assessed. The method by which to pay for it is the biggest topic in this plan.

    And how well it may or may not be received by the citizens.

  • 8. Roman  |  April 21, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    Excellent. Looking forward to hearing about next steps. Chuck was instrumental in repaving a large portion of Oak Hill Blvd.

  • 9. muley  |  April 22, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    …..being head of the streets dept. I would think Chuck would be instumental in getting any street paved, not just pill hill.

  • 10. Roman  |  April 22, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    To clarify, there was a lot of additional work that went on behind the scenes with Dan Given, Chuck and John Falbo.

  • 11. Paula Tobias  |  April 22, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    We drove down his street Sunday and it was a mess.

  • 12. CissyMathis  |  April 22, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    That is what I like about you Paula. You are always coming up with positive solutions.

    Not that I’m against any of the council members, its just that every person who sits in a chair should look for solutions to problems, not quick fixer-uppers.

  • 13. Loraine Ritchey  |  April 22, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    sorry Roman for some reason you were sent to spam and I just noticed Loraine

  • 14. Paula Tobias  |  April 24, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    The minutes are out from the Council Meeting…

    CAMERA: I was emailed and spoke with Paula Tobias. She found a product on the website called Traffics(??); its $1100 for 55-gallon drum (the guy swears up and down it will work in all kinds of weather). I called him and asked for some references but he refused to give me references or any material to use as a sample. Since that time, I have talked to Frank and his wife has gotten some success. He gave me one reference that I emailed today but has not heard back yet. He also said he would give us a product to try out. He would give us a 30-day free trial. If we did not like it then we would not pay; if we did like it, then we had to pay him $600. I heard that through Frank.

    I would test that in January.

    I do not want to test it now because the weather has changed, our conditions have changed and I want to make sure that when I do test something with that kind of expense, it is under the most extreme conditions, which is in January and February when the temperatures tend to freeze and fluctuate.

  • 15. Jack Brake  |  July 14, 2008 at 3:47 pm


    Is it too late to discuss solutions regarding the pothole problem you are having? I found your article when looking for something else.

    I offer a pothole patcher that uses spray injection patching. In your article you mention that spray injection patching requires a skilled operator and the equipment cost is higher. I agree that some of our competition is more expensive and takes a lot of little tricks to run properly. I assure you that our patcher will be cost effective and is VERY easy to operate. In less than an hour I coudl have YOU effectively running the machine. Generally, operating total patcher costs about 1/2 the amount of the traditional methods. It also takes less labor and the patches are permenant. With this savings a city can generally make the machine pay for itself is a short time.

    Please let me know if this is still open for discussion!


    Jack Brake

  • 16. Paula Tobias  |  July 14, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    That sounds interesting, I’d love to learn more and share with our Street Dept Director Chuck Camera.
    Please contact Loraine for my email or if you have a website/business email I will watch for a posting.
    Thanks for taking the time to contact us.

  • 17. Jack Brake  |  July 14, 2008 at 4:51 pm


    Thanks for responding. I was not sure if it was too late or not.

    Our website is On the website is a video that shows the machine and how it works. Feel free to contact me at 317-892-4730 or

    I will be glad to come to Lorain and fill a few holes during a demonstration. This is the best way to see the ease of operation and the quality of the patch.

    Thanks again,

    Jack Brake

  • 18. Paula Tobias  |  July 14, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    Thanks! Filling the holes and monitoring how long they last with our winters and the traffic will be key.
    I’m sure we’re no exception in that every penny we spend is critical.
    Look forward to talking to you. I’ll share this information with the city.

  • 19. Liz Tobias  |  July 15, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    “In less than an hour I coudl have YOU effectively running the machine. ”

    I would pay to see that!

  • 20. Loraine Ritchey  |  July 15, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    There’s a thought Liz, we could all chip in “See Paula Patch” and the monies raised help with the roads.hmmmmmmmmmmmmm 🙂

  • 21. Paula Tobias  |  July 15, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    Chuck has already nicknamed me Pitching Patch Paula… I was trying to figure a way to raise money to get a sample of the first patch I researched, maybe this will work better than the bake sale or dunking booth….

  • 22. thatwoman  |  July 17, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    As we know by the Journal this morning the “Pitch ” for the Patch is underway …..hopefully Jack will also make a “pitch” to the city for his machine…. and apart from Liz and I anyone else want to the “PiITCH AND PATCH PAULA” the moniker was corrected by Chuck who came up with her title 🙂 I would dearly love to see Paula running the machine anyone else game to put in a few scheckles.we could donate it to the street fund for potholes???????????????

  • 23. Paula Tobias  |  July 17, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    I heard from Jack today and told him to get in touch with Mr. Camera that the word on the street is “Pitch and Patch Paula” is ready to rumble. Think I’ll get a Hard Hat and City Uniform? what a photo op!

  • 24. Loraine Ritchey  |  July 17, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Good keep us informed as to what happens 🙂

  • 25. Gretchen Groulx  |  November 15, 2009 at 2:42 am

    Using an asphalt recycler / hot patcher / hotbox allows a municipality to have on-site access to hot mix asphalt year-round. Permanent asphalt repairs can be made 365 days a year with material that is often taken to a landfill for disposal. Both recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) from road repairs or stockpiled virgin asphalt can be recycled for use in the repair of potholes and utility cuts. In most areas of the country, hot mix is less expensive than cold mix.

    Recycling asphalt saves material costs and conserves aggregate petroleum resources.

  • 26. Paula  |  November 15, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    And asphalt that stays in the pothole as opposed to popping out and going into the sewer system saves money as well.

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April 2008

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