asphalt patchIn spring the DPW’s fancy turns to thoughts of road patch.

But why repair a road that is slated for imminent repaving?

This month the Town has been plugging holes in East Arlington’s Mass. Ave. with the quick and dirty asphalt patch (shoveled in, compressed flat). The irregular patches range in size from a few square inches to a few square yards.

Goodness knows this is needed, but given that construction of the road is nigh (starting in June according to this report), what’s the point? Is this expense justified? Is it a sly vote of no confidence in the Mass. Ave. project, long promised, never realized?

The road is in plenty rough shape, way beyond mere potholes. The craters and canyons in the road surface are geological wonders, going down 2 or 3 strata. Some have some kind of frayed fabric layer sticking out of them. Hey, knit me a street!

Sorry, gentle readers, no photos: we are talking Mass. Ave. and it is as good as my life is worth to go squatting in the road with my camera. If you want to see cracked pavement, you’ll have to be satisfied with my photos of the sidewalks (also slated for renovation, notwithstanding the best efforts of opponents).

The patches do not really fix Mass. Ave. but they do make it temporarily better while we are waiting for the entire road to be resurfaced. Though construction is supposed to begin in June the project won’t be finished before late 2015.

During that time, according to the final bid specifications for the project, the milling and paving of the street is the third stage, following sidewalks and medians.Whether work progresses block by block or stage by stage, we could be driving and riding on this tired pavement for some time.

Temporary patch, anyone?

Note: The patching material is actually called asphalt concrete.

That’s not a photo of Mass. Ave. Do you think I am suicidal? It’s from a Federal Highway Administration report about potholes and is in the public domain.


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