Road Commission gets tips from pavement expert

HOUGHTON COUNTY — Houghton County Road Commission workers are out in full force making repairs to county roads before winter arrives. Crews from the Hancock and Calumet garages received a visit yesterday from a pavement expert who briefed them on maximizing the longevity and sustainability of pothole repairs.

It’s well known by road workers and motorists alike that pot holes are caused from cracks in the road, often times created by overweight vehicles such as logging trucks or other heavy loads. Those cracks become wet from rain water and condensation, and when that water freezes in the colder temperatures and becomes ice, it expands forcing the pavement to break even more, thus causing a pot hole.

“We’re here to talk to the crews about proper patching. How to do things, just some tricks and tips that will help the patches stay in longer. Keep the crews off because with distracted driving, it’s a big deal,” said Pavement Expert Bob Klokowski.

It was also emphasized, that unnecessary repetition contributes greatly to the risk factor of road crews working in the flow of traffic as distracted driving accidents are on the rise.

“One of the things that came out of today’s meeting and we’re glad it’s recognized is when you see the crews out patching. Slow down. Give them some space. They all have families to go home to. They want to make the road good so they don’t have to come back to fix them and they drive the same roads that everyone else is diving. So, the inconvenience is unfortunate when you have to slow down for them, but it’s nice that the road is fixed and we’ll have a smoother ride,” said Kevin Harju, an engineer with the Houghton County Road Commission.

The seminar taught road commission crews that by utilizing a more consistent mix combined with some new techniques in prepping the repair, public road ways will last longer, stay smoother and reduce the number of job related accidents.