“Our goal is to get 80 percent of potholes filled within 24 hours of us receiving the work order.”
That is Terrence Nealy’s expectation for the two specialized pothole trucks Rock Hill deployed for the first time this month. The city’s public works director says the new vehicles will allow repair crews to respond more quickly to complaints of bumpy roads, with fewer men and less equipment now needed to meet Rock Hill’s road needs.
The city received the new trucks at the beginning of October, but the trucks only recently hit the streets because workers needed a chance to “get used to them,” Nealy said.
“Once they get more familiar with them, we will have an opportunity where we can service calls within 24 hours,” he said.
A two-man crew is all that’s required to operate the new pothole trucks, whereas three or four had been necessary to take on a pothole before. Previously, crews dispatched to a pothole would be riding in a dump truck hauling a trailer with the necessary equipment, and maybe even a second truck would be needed to block and redirect traffic.
Now, the pothole trucks hold all the tools to getting the job done at once. One truck can carry all the asphalt, compaction equipment and emulsions – and an arrow board for diverting traffic around the work site.
Earlier this year, Rock Hill City Council voted to boost spending on road paving and maintenance, adding $300,000 to the 2015-16 road budget, bringing total spending on road maintenance to $800,000. The city plans to spend even more money on roads next year, growing the road maintenance budget to more than $1 million.
At the time, city staff specifically cited potholes as the initiative’s target. Part of that money was used to purchase the pothole trucks, which cost $170,000 each.
Nealy said the trucks not only will be used to smooth over city streets, but also to cover potholes on the many state-maintained roadways that run through Rock Hill in a coordinated effort with the state Department of Transportation. Jurisdictional issues have previously held up who would respond to a pothole complaint and when, but the new pothole trucks can respond to calls anywhere in the city.
After all, “when residents call us, they don’t know if it’s a city road or a state road,” Nealy said.
If your street has a pothole that could be handled by a pothole truck, report it to Rock Hill’s public works department at 803-325-2500.