Pierre To Purchase Pothole Patcher

(KCCR) — The Pierre City Commission has given approval for the purchase of a device to help tackle the annual pothole problems that pop-up on Pierre streets. Utilities Director Brad Palmer says the past winter season was exceptionally rough on city streets…

“We’ve got a lot of cracks out there, a lot of potholes and just really materialized this year,  In response to that Commissioner Barringer asked us to look at a new tool for our maintenance portfolio.  It’s called a Mastic Melter.  We’ve never had this piece of equipment before, but in response to his request we checked with DOT, whose been using one for a couple of years on state highways and they’ve been very pleased with the results.”
A mastic melter works similar to crack sealing but on a larger scale…

“It’s a trailer mounted device and you put blocks of asphalt; it’s kind of a rubberized asphalt material and it melts that down into a pourable liquid, almost semi liquid solid and then you take that in small buckets and you apply it on cracks and potholes and it turns into kind of like an almost a rubberized cement, but it’s got some rock properties to give it strength.  And when you fill  those cracks with this rubberized cement, it keeps the water from getting in there and it’s when that water freezes and thaws that it opens up those cracks and really tears are streets apart.”
The melter is not a budgeted item for purchase by the City of Pierre, but Palmer says the city is getting a good deal on the device…

“That first item is off of last year’s Minnesota state bid and so its at a lower price; a lower-cost and it actually has some additions to it that, even with those additions, it’s less than this year’s price so.  Every year Minnesota rebids their equipment and so the higher price you’re saying is the new price and they’re allowing us to buy off of the old contract so it’s going to save us quite a bit of money.”
Palmer added that the city used less money than they budgeted on gravel for street projects meaning the money saved on gravel will be re-appropriated toward the purchase of the mastic melter. The melter will cost the city just under 54-thousand dollars and includes delivery to Pierre.