A Dallas-based company is trying to make inroads into repairing potholes on Cayman.
Representatives from Chemical Resource Corporation filled a test hole by the airport post office Friday, and are waiting for the National Roads Authority to check the results.
Anthony Terry, company representative for the Caribbean, repaired the hole and explained how DOT-Pothole Filler works.
‘It comes in two parts – liquid asphalt which you shake for 15 to 30 seconds and dry mix comprising pea gravel which is an aggregate.
‘You stir the two together for about 30 seconds, until they are mixed thoroughly in the bucket, which can also be used as a hazard cone,’ he said.
The mixture is then poured into the hole.
‘It is self-levelling and self-setting so moisture can’t get in. The end-product is sealed,’ Mr. Terry added.
The mix sets within about 30 minutes and is then ready to be driven on. This product offers several advantages over traditional materials, he explained.
‘With hot or cold mix, there are spaces where water can still get in after it sets. That’s why hot and cold mix appears to come undone because water gets in and dislodges it and it breaks apart. You could end up with a pothole bigger than what you started with,’ he said.
Fatima Kanji, director of international sales for Chemical Resources, came down for the demonstration and explained the logistical advantages of the product.
‘The biggest advantage is that you don’t have to stop traffic. You don’t have to close the road; you don’t have to bring in heavy machinery for small jobs. It can be driven on within 30 to 40 minutes after the pothole is filled,’ she said.
There are other benefits, Mr. Terry said.
‘Compared to hot mix, it is faster; you use less manpower; it’s easier to clean up because it’s water-based; it’s non-toxic; it doesn’t have an odour, like tar does; and it’s cheaper because it lasts longer,’ he said.
Ms Kanji confirmed the long life of the product.
‘If it’s installed properly, it’s a one-time fix. I filled in a hole myself at a hotel in Dallas. I filled it last summer and it’s perfectly fine. We get rain and tornados in Dallas and nothing has moved in the hole,’ she said.
Larry Cayasso, owner of ABC Trenching and Econo Asphalt, was impressed with the demonstration.
‘It looks like we could use it. The only problem is waiting for approval from the NRA. If they gave me approval, I’d be more than happy to go ahead and try it.
‘We repair a lot of parking lots and roads. The advantage is that the material I use now I buy from Island Paving, and I have to wait for Island Paving to mix it. If I had this I could buy it in bulk, keep it in storage and use it whenever I need to.
‘I will still use Island Paving, but for small jobs, like cracks and small holes, this could help us out a lot,’ he said.
Ms Kanji is waiting to hear from the NRA, who approved the demonstration by the post office.
‘After a week, we will follow up with the NRA. This gives time to see how the pothole has held under wear and tear from cars.
‘The biggest advantage for the NRA is that this is a permanent solution. The NRA can use their existing personnel and get training online on our website. And they can get certification on line. If they are certified, they will be covered by a 12-month warranty,’ she said.
Each orange and yellow five gallon bucket can fill a ½ cubic foot hole, though the product also comes in larger drums.
Individuals will also be able to purchase the filler and use it themselves.
‘Based on the results of this test, people may be able to buy the bucket on the island to do repairs,’ Ms Kanji said.