Westfield tries new pothole patch to catch up with holes

Published: .
Updated: .

Westfield and other central Indiana cities are taking a new approach to try to keep up with the growing number of potholes.

The city is experimenting with a new mix to fill the holes, which they hope results in a quicker, more permanent fix.

"A lot of these people come by here, hit that chuckhole. I mean, one of them I seen a rim laying on down the road here," said Joe Shoemaker.

He was glad to see a public works crew filling potholes outside his Westfield home Thursday. He can't remember the last winter when roads took such a beating.

Neither can the city's lead streets supervisor, Travis Stetnish

"It's horrible. The potholes...the problem is we haven't been able to stay on top of 'em, because it's just been snow event after snow event after snow event," he said.

Like other cities, Westfield has spent a lot of time trying to fill in the holes. They're now testing different products, in search of a more permanent fix.

"We're just exploring all options. Anything on the market, we're trying to see what works best," Stetnish said.

Most cities, including Westfield, begin with a cold patch, switching to a hot patch - which is longer-lasting - when the asphalt plants open in March. The hope is a so-called high-performance mix will get the job done the first time around.

"Aggregate is smaller in this. It's a little bit easier to be worked, once it gets down into the hole," Stetnish said.

The mix is more expensive and not yet available in large quantities in central Indiana, but Stetnish says it's definitely worth trying.

Shoemaker also hopes the crew doesn't have to come back to his street, at least not anytime soon.

Carmel is also experimenting with the new mix, though Indianapolis is not. The city will go to the hot mix next week and the asphalt plants will open early to help with repairs.