Hot & Cold Mix
The Lafayette Street Department purchases asphalt to produce hot mix asphalt for routine road maintenance. This asphalt is used for patching potholes and repairing road sections.
During the winter months when hot mix is not available, we use a product called cold mix for patching. All city streets are patched on a regular basis as needed.
Maintenance departments are under siege trying to keep up with pavement cracks and pothole repairs. Prevention is much cheaper than repair. Research shows that active crack sealing programs are cost effective in extending the life of pavement as opposed to the cost of extensive pavement repairs for streets left unsealed. Traditionally, crack sealing has been low on the priority list, both in terms of funding and time allotments. However, an effective crack sealing program is the single best weapon against pavement failure.
Cracking is caused either by thermal stresses or from fatigue due to repeated traffic loading (concrete streets have control joints or saw joints to allow for expansion and contraction). The vast majority of potholes and pavement failures can be traced to water entering the base and sub-grade through joints that have not been crack sealed in both concrete and asphalt. In most pavements, the base, sub-base or sub-grade consists of a material that loses its load-carrying capacity when wet. Water enters through the cracks and traffic works and overloads the weakened areas allowing more and more water to enter. This can cause potholes to develop rapidly and more severe pavement failures if left unsealed.
Potholes are abrupt depressions, holes or other defects in roadway pavement that can cause difficulties for drivers and vehicles. Potholes usually occur when the base material under the pavement is washed out. Weather is the most significant contributor to the severity of a pothole problem. Excess water beneath the pavement weakens the soil tremendously, particularly when frozen ground begins to thaw in the spring. A sudden thaw, especially when accompanied by heavy rain, can very quickly wash out roadway base material and create numerous potholes in multiple locations. Other events, such as a water leak, may also wash away base material, creating a street defect.
The Streets Department repairs all potholes as quickly as possible after receiving a report of a pothole.