Repair kit fixes potholes in 30 min

2010-04-29 00:00

A DURBAN company has major plans to make KwaZulu-Natal a pothole-free province with its “Pothole Ambulance”, an innovative vehicle that contains a pothole repair kit that can fix holes and road service defects in less than 30 minutes.

The Pro-Phalt “infrared road repair system”, a UK concept, recycles the existing surface of the road with the latest infrared technology.

Transport Minister S’bu Ndebele said the department is exploring new technologies like the Pro-Phalt road repair system for road maintenance.

The machine will be made available to municipalities and private individuals in the Durban and Pietermaritzburg areas, which are plagued by potholes.

The team has demonstrated the system to South African National Road Agency Limited officials from Pietermaritzburg.

A director of Pro-Phalt, Tony Penhold, said the infrared unit, the built-in hotbox “which stores heat binders, tools, roller and management equipment”, all fits into a small panel van.

A special heating unit is placed on the pothole and the surface is reworked with new asphalt added. A water-based binder is then added to the surface. The surface is rolled to create a seamless joint and the pothole is gone forever.

“A typical repair takes just 30 minutes and significantly reduces the impact for all involved.

It has been designed to minimise the risks to operators, the environment and the public,” Penhold said.

He added that the thermo-bond in the process restores the section of the road to its original integrity.

“The surface is immediately safer for all road users. The repair is also far longer-lasting.”

Penhold said the team of 16 can repair 40 potholes a day, and the vehicle is able to store materials for 150 pothole repairs.

“Although this is not a quick-fix solution that will end South Africa’s pothole crisis in a month or two, it can make massive inroads into the problem,” he said.

The technology can also be used to repair manholes and trench surface repairs.

“Trenches dug by companies installing underground cables and pipes are often inadequately filled, which adds to the road maintenance workload for municipalities,” Penhold added.

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