November 1, 2014

Elyria
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39°F
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Lorain’s new machine more effective than asphalt to fix potholes

Lorain city employee Dan Fleming uses the Dura-Patcher machine to fill a pothole along Oakhill Boulevard in Lorain on Thursday.  The hose dispenses stones and an emulsion to help fill and seal the pothole. KRISTIN BAUER/CHRONICLE

Lorain city employee Dan Fleming uses the Dura-Patcher machine to fill a pothole along Oakhill Boulevard in Lorain on Thursday. The hose dispenses stones and an emulsion to help fill and seal the pothole. KRISTIN BAUER/CHRONICLE

LORAIN — The severe winter made Lorain’s notoriously bumpy roads worse than ever, but the DuraPatcher is smoothing things over.

Dan Fleming, left, uses the Dura-Patcher machine to fill a pothole along Oakhill Boulevard in Lorain on Thursday. As Fleming fills the pothole, Dave Willams and Brent Lloyd brush excess stone and sealer off of the road before using a tamper to pack down the filling.

Dan Fleming, left, uses the Dura-Patcher machine to fill a pothole along Oakhill Boulevard in Lorain on Thursday. As Fleming fills the pothole, Dave Willams and Brent Lloyd brush excess stone and sealer off of the road before using a tamper to pack down the filling.

The machine sprays an emulsion/aggregate mix rather than asphalt, making repairs last longer. The city purchased the DuraPatcher in 2013 for $61,654 along with a 150-gallon emulsion tank for $22,500. The tank keeps the mix heated to up to 120 degrees, said Street Superintendent Lori Garcia.

The DuraPatcher is designed to make repairs last a year or two, far longer than hot asphalt. The DuraPatcher can’t be used in temperatures under 25 degrees or in the rain.

The Street Department traditionally has used hot patch between April 15 and Nov. 15. Cold patch, a quick fix that lasts less time than hot patch, is used between November and April.

Garcia said Lorain began using the Dura-Patcher in August on main roads and secondary streets, with hot patch used on side streets. Garcia said extreme cold made cold patching more ineffective with repairs frequently having to be redone. “This winter beat these roads up,” she said.

Brent Lloyd uses a tamper to compact the filling and create a smooth surface after the DuraPatcher is used.

Brent Lloyd uses a tamper to compact the filling and create a smooth surface after the DuraPatcher is used.

Department worker Dan Fleming said the DuraPatcher is more effective than hot asphalt. He compared using hot asphalt to fill a hole using “Play-Doh,” while the Dura-Patcher is more like glue. “I’m sure people are liking it because it’s more of a permanent fix,” Fleming said Thursday as he filled a pothole with the DuraPatcher on Oak Hill Boulevard near Laura Lane.

Fleming was assisted by Dave Williams and Brent Boyd. After Fleming sprayed a hole, Williams used a rake and broom to smooth it over. Boyd then ran a tamper over the hole.

The 19-member department patches dozens of holes per day citywide. Priority is given to streets with the worst potholes. Hundreds of holes have been filled since April 15.

Garcia said the department is buying a $60,000 smaller truck designed specifically for the DuraPatcher. The purchase will free up the plow truck currently being used for other duties. Garcia said she has requested the City Council purchase a second DuraPatcher, which would allow it to be used on side streets.

Oak Point Boulevard resident Chester Frederick, who moved into his home in 1977, said the street, near Oak Point Road and North Lake Street, has always been bumpy.

“That’s great,” he said after the DuraPatcher filled potholes in front of his home. “I’m happy to see that.”

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.

Pothole Patching

Potholes form when water seeps below the surface of a road and then freezes, raising the surface. When temperatures warm, ice under the surface melts, forming holes. Cars crush the raised surfaces, forming potholes. Anyone in Lorain seeking pothole repairs should call the Street Department at (440) 244-4294.


  • bigmacky

    this looks a lot better than the abomnination Elyria had/has that spews tar and gravel – hey Elyria – use a tamper! what a concept!!!!!!!

    • Mark B

      Elyria has a Steam Roller , but are too Lazy to use it

  • GreatRedeemer

    Kind of cool, wouldn’t a pothole killer machine that requires one person be more efficient and safer instead of guys standing in traffic ?

  • alreadyfedup1

    I saw in Cleveland they do not use a “tamper to compact the filling and create a smooth surface” fill and leave. You can hear the patch being kicked up by your cars tires.

  • footballer

    Where do these idiots come from like the greatredeemer

  • Phil Blank

    Too bad it can’t fix the broken sidewalks too.
    Maybe it could be used to make a transition between the lower and uplifted sidewalks?

  • stillsleepyeyes

    Lol, look at them go……………………wooo hoooo……………….now if only you could get them to wear safety lasses and hearing protection…………………oh wait, they have great medical……………

  • golfingirl

    Use the new Armored Vehicle to compact the fill.

    • Razorback Twou

      Yea, then they would have a use for it.

  • Bill_Bishop

    They patched my street last Fall, and it didn’t last through the winter. Not to mention it makes a mess in the street, it comes up just like it goes down, in little pieces, but when the snow plow comes it throws all that crap in your yard. I’ve been in my house 20 yrs and this was the worst spring clean up ever.