By Connor Beach
Town of Huntington officials are giving a ‘killer’ new pothole-repair method a test drive.
Town officials, including Supervisor Chad Lupinacci and Highway Superintendent Kevin Orelli, met Monday morning to show off the Pothole Killer, a truck with an adjustable arm that repairs potholes quickly and effectively.
The truck, which is owned by Pennsylvania-based Patch Management, first clears the pothole of debris, and then partially fills the pothole with an emulsion that seals out moisture.
The pothole is then topped off with a mixture of stone that makes the repair able to stand up to oncoming traffic immediately, officials said.
A single operator using a joystick in the cab of the truck can complete the entire process in about three minutes, and all of the materials are delivered through the arm that extends from the front of the truck, according Brian Rutledge, a Pothole Killers field sales representative.
“The goal is to make this a roving operation,” Rutledge said. “By the time the neighbors notice we are here, we want to be moving on to the next pothole.”
Orelli said the town’s current process requires a manual crew that can repair about 40 potholes a day.
One operator in the Pothole Killer can increase that number to about 100, officials said.
Repairs made with the Pothole Killer can last for as long as three years, while manual repairs often break down after just a couple of months, Orelli added.
The increased efficiency courtesy of the Pothole Killer is necessary, Orelli said, because the highway department has this year received about 500 requests for pothole repairs — residents can report potholes to the department by calling 631-499-0444, or logging on to Huntingtonny.gov.
Along with receiving repair requests, the town has also filled nearly 2,000 potholes so far this year.
Lupinacci pointed out a pattern of freezing and thawing that’s developed over the past couple of weeks and could only make the pothole problem worse. There was also a winter storm expected to hit Long Island late Wednesday into Thursdasy night, after deadline.
“We really need to keep on top of this as we go forward into the spring and summer season,” Lupinacci said.
Orelli said he plans on giving the Pothole Killers a “test run” for a couple of weeks to see how the repairs really hold up, and if the process is actually cost effective for the town, before offering the company a contract.
Still, Orelli said, “It looks like it’s something that we are going to be employing in the future.”