Pothole PMB to get a state-of-the-art patch-up

2013-02-22 00:00

POTHOLE Pietermaritzburg is a thing of the past.

This was the view of Democratic Alliance caucus leader Bill Lambert when executive committee (Exco) members visited Millborrow Road in Scottsville to launch the implementation of the pothole programme in the capital.

Msunduzi municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi said the city had invested about R1,4 million in patching potholes in the city and surrounding areas.

The contract was awarded to Pro-Phalt, which has given the city a 12-month guarantee on the work it will be doing.

Pro-Phalt construction manager Carlo Tripepi told Exco that one of the machines they were using was an infrared emitter that worked like a microwave. The machine was environmentally friendly because it used a modest amount of energy.

Using the infrared unit, the area around the pothole was heated up to 200ºC, and within eight minutes the team was ready to rake the melted tar using the existing material to fix the pothole. It can add asphalt if necessary.

He said Pro-Phalt was able to patch about 2 400 square meters in a month.

“We cover between an average of 80-100 square metres a day and we have a 12-month guarantee for the work that we do. If the pothole opens up again then we will patch it at our own cost,” he said.

Tripepi said Pro-Phalt patched potholes in Johannesburg three years ago that were still in good condition and that was why it was guaranteeing its work.

The team works with British technology called the “pothole ambulance”, which fixes potholes six times faster than the traditional ways, said Tripepi. The entire system fits into a van the size of a taxi.

It could turn a car-wrecking pothole into smooth tar in about 30 minutes, he said.

“Work to patch potholes is also going on in Sobantu, while my team is busy in Scottsville,” he said.

The Mayor, Chris Ndlela, put his own skills to the test by using the roller to level the patched pothole.

“This is the continuation of the programme to address some of the challenges that are facing our city because we know that potholes have affected a number of people in our city,” he said.

Ndlela said the project would also address the challenges of claims for damage from potholes that the municipality was getting from affected individuals.

He said there was no wastage in Pro-Phalt’s thechnology as it used the existing material to cover the potholes.

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