On May 2, 2012, the Public Works Operations Division put a new piece of equipment into service to help battle the war on potholes – the Leeboy RA-400 spray injection patch truck. This unit uses a spray injection method to patch potholes and requires only one operator to utilize an extendable arm that prepares and patches potholes. First, air is blown into the pothole to remove loose gravel, debris, and water. Next, the arm sprays emulsion oil that coats the hole and helps the aggregate adhere to the surface. A mixture of oil and rock is applied to fill the pothole, and then a final coating of rock is applied to the top of the pothole.
This pothole patching method has become more widely accepted in the past 10 to 15 years.
Benefits from the spray injector method include:
- Lower material cost (the amounts of rock and oil are dispersed via computerized controls)
- Lower labor cost (only one operator is needed)
- Longer lasting patches (up to three to five years)
- Safer operating environment (all operations can be controlled from the cab of the truck)
Since its launch date, the unit has been patching potholes in Area 7 (Bradley to Springfield and Market to east City limits), Area 14 (Springfield to Kirby and Mattis to Prospect), and at various service request locations.