Middletown Embraces High-Tech Solution for Pothole Repairs

In a move towards technological innovation, Middletown is enhancing its pothole repair program with the recent approval of two state-of-the-art Cimline machines by the Town Council. These machines aim to streamline the process of fixing and sealing potholes and other road imperfections, promising a more efficient and enduring solution.

Town Administrator Shawn J. Brown highlighted several advantages of the equipment purchase. Firstly, it enables the Department of Public Works to conduct more pothole repairs internally, utilizing town staff instead of outsourcing the services. This not only leads to potential cost savings for taxpayers but also ensures a quicker response to repairs and frees up time for other crucial tasks.

Brown emphasized the lasting impact of the Cimline machines, providing a permanent repair for potholes compared to the temporary nature of cold patch solutions that often require frequent refilling, especially in problematic areas.

Council President Paul M. Rodrigues expressed his support for the initiative, citing the success of a similar project on East Main Road undertaken by the state Department of Transportation. Rodrigues noted the effectiveness and permanence of the repairs, endorsing the decision as a positive step for Middletown.

Funding for the machines is sourced from the town’s unused snow removal budget for the current winter, ensuring no additional burden on taxpayers in the Fiscal 2024 budget. Brown asserted that the crack sealer would pay for itself within a single fiscal year.

Councilor Barbara A. VonVillas, though not an expert in road construction, praised Middletown’s well-maintained roads compared to other areas in the state. Acknowledging the efforts of Middletown’s public works department and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT), VonVillas credited them for the town’s commendable road conditions.

Citing data from the American Automobile Association (AAA), it was revealed that pothole concerns extend beyond Middletown, with about two-thirds of U.S. drivers expressing worry about potholes. The AAA “Pothole Damage” report further indicated that U.S. drivers incurred over $15 billion in vehicle repair bills due to pothole damage over the past five years.

Over the last few years, Middletown has relied on contractors to address pothole issues. However, with the introduction of the Cimline crack sealing and dura patcher machines, the town aims to reduce outsourcing.

Explaining the functionality of the dura patcher, Brown detailed a two-person crew’s ability to efficiently clean out potholes using high-volume, low-pressure air. The process involves prepping the area with a tacky material to ensure the patch material remains in place for years. The application is then coated lightly and reopened to traffic within minutes.

For more detailed information, Brown’s complete memo can be accessed online here. To report a pothole or other non-emergency issues, residents can use the online work request submission application, allowing them to track the progress of their request from initiation to completion.

Brown concluded, “From everything we’ve heard and seen, this is a good investment that will provide a solid return for years to come.”




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