New technology being used to fill potholes in Westfield

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WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – If you’ve been driving around lately your ride is probably getting pretty bumpy. Potholes are becoming more and more of a problem across western Massachusetts.

“You’ve got to do a lot of defensive driving some of them are pretty deep and they can do a lot of damage but when they’re filled with water because of the melting we’re having they’ll sneak up on you,” said Tom Neal of Russell.

Potholes form when water gets into cracks in the pavement and then freezes. The ice expands and the pavement rises. As cars drive over the raised pavement it eventually breaks off forming a pothole.

In Westfield, they’re using a special truck with new technology to repair the potholes.

“It uses an infrared propane, an infrared heater. It heats the area to a depth of two to three inches and then that is scarified and we add some new material and bring it to the correct level, then roll it,” said Francis Cain, the Assistant Director of Public Works in Westfield. 

The new technology allows them to fix the potholes more effectively than they normally would this time of year.

“We feel it is a better way to patch potholes than the typical roll and go just throw material in there and roll on that material tends to not last very long… but this is a more permanent fix and returns the pavement to more like it was when it was originally put down,” said Cain.

Westfield started using the new truck last fall and plans to have it in operation fixing the potholes across the city over the next few months. 

Here is a link to MassDOT where you can report any potholes that you come across.

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