In the seemingly endless war against potholes, Bergen County officials are bringing back a big weapon: “the Pothole Killer.”
The freeholders voted unanimously to spend up to $60,000 to rent the pothole patching system from Patch Management Inc., a company based in Fairless, Pa.
The vote came after County Executive James Tedesco made a last-minute personal request for the device, which he described as far more effective than the so-called “hot patch” method the county has been using this winter.
The truck costs $9,000 a month to rent. Tedesco said the county was also exploring whether to buy the unit at a cost of about $700,000 and make it available to the 70 towns in the county as a shared service.
Tedesco said the potholes filled by the truck, which the county has used in the past, are guaranteed to stay filled for up to a year if the equipment is used properly.
He said the system had a long snout-like attachment with a compressor that blows out any water in the pothole and dries it.
Then the machine sprays a tar-like substance into the hole, mixing in small triangular stones that adhere to the tar.
Then a fine layer of stone is put on top of the mixture. That layer is pliable, so that as vehicles roll over it, the mixture of tar and stone is compressed into the pothole.
He said the method had a better than 90 percent success rate, compared with about 60 percent when hot asphalt is used.
The state Department of Transportation has 13 such trucks with crews that are expected to fill 1 million potholes this year.