Public Works Department works to fix potholes during warm weather

Public Works Department works to fix potholes during warm weather. (WJAC)

We have had multiple days of above average temperatures this week, which has been a break from the normal winter temperatures in the region.

While most have been enjoying the warmer temperatures, the city of Johnstown Public Works Department has been hard at work, repairing the roads throughout the area.

It’s hard to drive in the winter without hitting a huge pothole in the road. But on warmer days like we have had, our public works department in the city has been working to make the roads a little less bumpy.

“The plows impact that obviously, they peel up the blacktop where it is loose ... that as well as the changing weather temperatures,” said Public Works Director Jared Campagna. “The heating up of the asphalt, the cold, the water gets underneath it and peels it up as well.”

During this year’s midwinter thaw, the Johnstown Public Works Department is working hard to fill the many pot holes in the city before the snow and bitter cold are back again.

“We would be out filling the potholes with a mixture called ‘cold patch’. It is what is available to us this time of year with the plant being closed. It is a product that we use fairly often in this weather,” Campagna said.

Cold patch is a mixture of half-inch chips and proprietary oil. They then use a machine to heat the cold patch to the proper temperature so the oils in the mixture can adhere to the roads.

“You have hand tools, shovels and loots and things of that nature. But this machine is really good, it brings it up to a temperature to where it is more likely to stay a little longer than just throwing it in cold of a regular truck,” Campagna said.

Officials said they know there are many potholes all over the city, but want to assure residents they are working as fast as they can.

“We have six people on each crew and they work eight hours a day and they are out filling potholes. They come up as fast as we can fill them up,” Campagna said.

The holes can only be patched in certain weather conditions. It must be above freezing and not raining, and the cold patch is only a temporary fix.

“It's not a surefire fix. I mean, it is only temporary. It comes back out because of the weather,” Campagna said.

The public works department is hoping these repairs will last throughout the next stretch of cold weather and snow, which is expected to start next week.

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