Boston officials are testing three innovative, new options for repairing potholes in the city, Boston.com reported. The testing will last six months before officials decide whether to permanently implement any of the strategies.
The materials are more expensive than regular asphalt but may provide a faster, more eco-friendly solution to filling potholes and can be carried in bags or buckets.
Two of of the options–one from Aquaphalt and the other from Unique Paving Materials–offer a putty-like material that may provide a fast, permanent solution.
Aquaphalt’s product is a black sticky material that is poured from a bucket into the pothole, then raked and packed down.
Unique Paving Materials offers a thick, black material that hardens on the surface while staying elastic beneath. This allows the product to move with the asphalt, even through freeze cycles.
The third company, founded by a group of recent graduates of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, offers a putty-like material called Hole Patch. This temporary fix is encased in thick, flexible plastic bags that can be placed in the pothole until a crew can repair the hole.
Though the material is made of a thick liquid, the pressure of something like a passing car makes the product become solid. The material liquefies again once the object passes, making it reusable for other potholes.
The products from Aquaphalt and Unique Paving Materials are intended to replace current permanent pothole-filling techniques. Hole Patch, however, is meant to temporarily fill the holes until workers can fill them with a more permanent material, preventing damage to cars in the meantime.