Barry County road district commissioners start 2015 work
Swearing in ceremony comes with primer on pothole maintenance
Twenty-five road district commissioners in Barry County took oaths of office on April 20 to begin their duties at the annual road district meeting, hosted by the Barry County Commission at the First Baptist Church of Cassville's Family Life Center.
The session offered training on how to run meetings and strategies for managing road maintenance.
Barry County Clerk Gary Youngblood swore in the road district leaders. The county commissioners provided a briefing on running road district business, following the Sunshine Law and how to properly handle bids.
As a special feature, the commissioners invited Linda Webb, chief learning officer for Training and Beyond LLC, to come to Cassville from Hannibal to speak on how to patch potholes. Webb worked for the Missouri Department of Transportation's maintenance division and had first-hand experience on what works and what fails on potholes.
Shaped like a bowl, a pothole has unique properties, Webb said. They come from tire impressions and generally fill with water. Filling them repeatedly with cold mix -- the throw and go method -- usually fails to stop more tire
pressure from emptying and growing them.
Using the Federal Highway Administration's 87-page manual on pothole research on asphalt, and other downloadable manuals from PASER, Webb suggested several steps for fixing potholes. Crews should first blow out all the water and debris, then start with a dry surface. Throw and roll -- running a roller over the patched hole --works better, but first the patch has to stick, and no patch sticks to dirt.
For potholes that penetrate the subsoil, Webb recommended a layer of rocks covered with oil to provide tackiness before adding the patching material. Patches should not match the road hole itself, but instead cover a square or rectangular area. The hole should have a sealant spread over the top then pressure applied, either from a roller or the patching truck itself.
Keeping out future moisture accumulation also becomes important. Webb recommended improving ditches for rain runoff and placing a crown on all roads, 2 percent for asphalt roads and 4 percent for gravel roads. She recommended using hot mix for repairs over cold mix, especially in light of local prices, where cold mix costs $90 a ton and hot mix costs $38 a ton less. Hot mix generally costs more than cold mix, but prices have been fluctuating.
Presiding Commissioner Cherry Warren observed that the Monett Special Road District has such good roads in part because the late Bill Medlin, a longtime road district commissioner, pushed for repairs with hot mix.
"Last summer, I sat down with Bill and thanked him for his efforts," Warren said. "He knew using hot mix was more expensive, but he was right."
The county commission has copies of the PASER manuals, including the Federal Highway Administration's manuals on pothole procedures and on maintenance and design of gravel roads, available for road districts.