Greater Sudbury staff have started putting a newly acquired Python 5000 pothole-filling machine to work.
In a video posted to YouTube, the city demonstrates how the machine works. A lone staff member within the machine’s cab drives up to a pothole, air-blasts debris, drops asphalt into the hole, spreads it out and compresses it down using controls within the machine.
The manufacturer advertises the machines as completing three times as much work as a crew would in the same amount of time. It requires one staff member whereas a traditional pothole patching operation requires three to five staff members and several pieces of equipment.
“It’s no secret that for many residents, pothole patching and road maintenance is a top priority,” Mayor Brian Bigger said in a media release issued by the city. “City council is committed to investing in technology that creates a more efficient way to provide important services. I am very excited to see the results.”
The Python 5000 can be used in the winter on class one to three roads (main arterial or secondary collector routes), as they are maintained to bare pavement. It will use both cold mix and recycled mix asphalt now that the hot and warm mix plants are closed for the winter season.
In the summer, the machine will focus on four-lane roads as this will eliminate the need for additional staff to perform traffic control duties.
“We are always testing new ways to provide more efficient service to the community,” city general manager of Growth and Infrastructure Tony Cecutti said in a release. “The Python 5000 is a valuable service enhancement and I look forward to seeing how it performs in the coming months.”
City council approved a tender of approximately $555,000 for the machine on Sept. 14. It arrived on Nov. 21, several months earlier than initially anticipated, and staff have already trained on the machine.
Potholes can be reported to the city by phoning 311. They can also be reported 24 hours per day online at 311.greatersudbury.ca or through a live chat Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.