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Mother Nature Keeping MTA Crews and RoadPatcher Trucks Busy

<p>After Mother Nature dumped nearly 47 inches of snow and another eight inches of rain on the region this winter, MTA Bridges and Tunnels ramped up its war against potholes and as of mid-March, crews have filled more than 4,000 of the pesky craters. </p><p>The repair season usually doesn't start until the beginning of March, but repeated freeze and thaw cycles have, since December, resulted in an unusually large and earlier crop of potholes. </p><p>Potholes occur when water and snow seeps into concrete and asphalt, solidifies and expands, causing cracks that continue to widen as vehicles travel over them. The more freeze and thaw cycles that occur, the more likely it is that potholes will form. </p><p>"We've been very aggressive in dealing with potholes this season," said B &amp; T Chief Maintenance Officer Patrick Parisi. "As soon as we see them, we've been sending road crews and our RoadPatcher trucks out to fill them."</p><p>From Dec. 26th through March 15th, crews have used more than 6,000 gallons of liquid emulsion asphalt, 100 tons of stone aggregate, 400 tons of hot asphalt and 16 tons of cold patch mix to fill potholes. </p><p>The odd-looking, self-contained RoadPatcher truck can fill up to 100 potholes in a single eight-hour shift using a repair method called spray-injection patching. The RoadPatcher operator can clean out the pothole with a blast of high-powered air, and then fill it with hot emulsion, asphalt and stone aggregate without ever leaving the cab of the truck. Once the pothole is filled, motorists can immediately drive on it. </p><p>More substantial potholes are handled by teams of workers called Hot Box crews, named for the container where the 180-degree asphalt is kept. Using shovels and power tools, workers clear loose debris from the potholes, fill it with asphalt and a heavy roller is used to smooth over the filled in pothole.</p><br /><iframe title="MTA Bridges and Tunnels' RoadPatcher truck, which can fill as many as 100 potholes in a single shift, working at the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge." width="560" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/18QFxzGXt5c" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /><div style="width:560px">MTA Bridges and Tunnels' RoadPatcher truck, which can fill as many as 100 potholes in a single shift, working at the Verrazano-Narrows last year.</div>