When it comes to patching potholes, the city of Bluefield has a new tool that should prove to be helpful during both the winter and summer months.
A hot box trailer has been purchased by the Bluefield Board of Directors to help keep potholes filled throughout the year, including during the problematic winter months.
“We’ve been looking at these for a couple years now,” City Manager Dane Rideout said of the hot box trailers. “Asphalt has to be a certain temperature to get it tamped down in a pot hole or repair area. Its has to be hot. By the time you pick it up from the plant and you drive it to the spot at which you are going to put it in the ground, it’s already cooled down to the point where you don’t get a good seal. You end up wasting more product than you end up putting down.”
Rideout said the hot box trailer allows crews to keep the asphalt for up to 72 hours. Also helpful is the fact that city crews will no longer be at the mercy of when asphalt plants are open or closed.
With the new equipment, Rideout said city crews will now be able to pre-store asphalt and put it in the hot box for use as needed. This will allow crews to undertake pothole patching as needed, and regardless of the actual calendar month.
In the past, the only thing city crews could do were temporary, “cold patches.”
“Places that we weren’t able to fix pot holes but once a year, (now) we will be able to get them quite a few times throughout the year,” Rideout said.
The new hot box trailer cost the city approximately $21,000. It should prove to be a worthwhile investment, and with hope will ensure a smoother ride for motorists in the months ahead.