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City of Omaha Considers Purchasing Injector Trucks for Patching

OMAHA, Nebraska (Nebraska). They have been in use in the city of Lincoln for several years, and now the city of Omaha is considering acquiring patching trucks.

Trucks can fill up to 150 potholes a day, according to the Lincoln Department of Transportation and Utilities.

“It was a good investment for us because they install stronger, more durable pothole patches that hold up much better in the long run,” says LTU’s Tim Byrne.

The machine works like this: first, compressed air cleans debris from the pothole.

“Then, with a couple of buttons, the operator will start applying the hot emulsion to the hole, which is the glue that will hold it together,” explains Byrne.

The hole is then filled with stone, which is also coated with hot emulsion, binding it together.

Byrne says the cars were worth it. Since they were bought in 2016, the number of pothole complaints in Lincoln has been declining every year.

Byrne also attributes the drop in pothole complaints to an increase in preventative maintenance, such as crack bridging, as well as investment in the city’s Lincoln on the Move street rehabilitation, which is renovating streets in dire need of longer-term repairs.

“They hold up very well for us compared to traditional methods where we use a cold mix and put it in the hole and tamp it down, it doesn’t have that hot emulsion to seal it as well so they hold up better than our other patches.” Byrne adds.

Now the city of Omaha says it might be time to get a pothole patching truck as well.

“Actually, we are actively looking at machines right now, we have negotiations with several manufacturers,” says Austin Roeser, an engineer at Omaha Public Works. “We’re always looking for ways to do better.”

Roser says the machines are about as efficient as their ground crews when it comes to filling potholes in a day. He says the machine’s patches are also comparable to the more durable hot patches the city uses.

But the truck only needs one person, compared to the multi-person crew now required to fill potholes by hand. It’s also safer, Byrne and Roser say.

“There are some real safety benefits for the driver and employee if they are in a cab where they are not on the streets, in bad weather, they are not exposed to live traffic,” says Rouser.

Roser says trucks may have more pros than cons, but there’s one reason the city hasn’t purchased them yet.

“It’s a disposable machine,” Roser says. “You know, we usually don’t like to have disposable vehicles in our repair crews, because obviously we patch potholes, but we also clear snow, so we are looking for vehicles that can help us in both operations, be it some kind of repair. pavement and snow removal.

Roeser says that because they are disposable, the machines will be kept in maintenance storage for many months, taking up space until they are needed during the winter months.

However, they may soon become part of the Omaha fleet.

Pothole repair trucks cost about $225,000.

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