Bangor’s roads are in a better condition than they were a week ago.
The Bangor Public Works Department last Friday shifted into high gear after the Bangor Daily News released a map marking the locations of nearly 200 potholes scattered across the city’s main arteries. The department sent out six crews to work over the weekend and patch up all of the potholes within 24 hours.
“We filled over 240 potholes in one day, which is quite a feat to take care of,” Public Works Director Eric Willett said. “It took us the full 24 hours to get the stuff done, but we struggled through it.”
Public works crews used the BDN’s pothole map as a guide. As a matter of practice, they patch potholes within 24 hours of receiving reports of them.
After buying 33 tons of cold patch in bulk on a rainy Friday afternoon last week, crews got to work patching up the worst of the potholes on State Street and in surrounding areas.
However, due to the wet, rainy conditions, most of the cold patch did not stay in place and six crews working overtime on Saturday had to redo most of the repair work they had done the day before.
“The patch that we’re using does not prevent the water from getting underneath it, and then traffic pulls it out of the holes,” Willett said. “After this weekend we’re expecting to go back and retreat all of those holes again.”
The expected rain this weekend might mean that crews will have to fill in additional potholes they have repaired recently. Cold patching is a temporary fix, but it’s the only one available to public works crews until they can acquire asphalt from the pavement plants that open once the weather warms up around late April.
Willett said the mass patching effort required 13 public works employees to work overtime on Saturday, starting at 6 a.m. Coupled with the bulk purchase of cold patch and the cost of fuel for their trucks, the costs to the city added up, Willett said, though he didn’t have a precise figure.
“The roads are in much better shape,” he said. “I think it’s good that we got them patched when we did.”