Boston tests new patches for potholes

Boston public works crews will be testing three new pothole fixes over the next six months. (Isabel Leon/Boston Mayor's Office)
Boston public works crews will be testing three new pothole fixes over the next six months. Credit: Isabel Leon/Boston Mayor’s Office

They’re a seemingly minor road problem capable of major damage. Now, the City of Boston is testing three new ways to plug potholes. Over the next six months, city streets will be patched with the new materials to expose the products to real-life conditions.

The search for better and faster pothole-filling products is part of Mayor Thomas Menino’s SpotHoles campaign, which encourages residents to notify the city of streets in need of repair, whether by phone or through the new Citizens Connect smartphone app. The city said most potholes are fixed within two days of being reported, and more than 1,000 have been patched since the program launched March 12.

“Potholes are a major menace to drivers,” Menino said in a statement. “We are conducting this pilot test because we believe that these innovative solutions may offer longer-lasting, more environmentally friendly solutions than traditional pothole filling materials.”

Public works crews demonstrated the different methods on crater-filled Bowdoin Street in Dorchester on Thursday. Among them was a Silly Putty-like substance called Hole Patch. Bags of the material solidify under pressure – from a car, for example – but become pliant again when the pressure is released. Potentially, city workers could use the product as a quick fix until permanent repairs are done.

Speed and flexibility are also components of the other two materials, which are marketed as eco-friendly options. Aquaphalt is made with vegetable oil and contains no pollution-causing volatile organic compounds. Patches are estimated to hold up for 10 years.

The creators of Unique Paving Materials call it a permanent solution that is 100 percent recyclable. Like Hole Patch and Aquaphalt, it’s easy to transport and works quickly.

Deputy Commissioner of Public Works Elmo Baldassari said the city hopes at least two of the options live up to their billing and provide lasting repairs.

“We won’t have to come back here in six or seven months, chasing our tails,” Baldassari told the Boston Globe. “We could do it once and be done.”

Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBos


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Rapper affiliate of Wu-Tang Clan 'cuts off own…

Rapper Andre Johnson, who has performed with New York outfit the Wu-Tang Clan, is in a critical condition after reportedly cutting off his own penis…

National

Cleavage complaint: Disneyland staffer orders curvy mom to…

A curvy mom-of-three says she filed a formal complaint after staff at Disneyland Resort in California ordered her to cover up her boobs. Melissa Behnken,…

International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Movies

The Cannes Film Festival announces its 2014 lineup

The lineup of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival was announced this morning, promising the latest from a slew of usual (and some unusual) suspects.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox beat White Sox…

Red Sox walk 15 times in extra innings win

NBA

Kris Humphries on free agency, future with Celtics:…

Kris Humphries on free agency, future with Celtics: 'I hope to be back'

NBA

Celtics turn attention to NBA Draft, improve lottery…

Celtics turn attention to NBA Draft, improve lottery odds with loss

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.