It is no secret that road conditions in the Pahrump Valley are a continual concern for residents and source of frequent complaints, with Nye County Public Works road department crews waging battle after battle against one of the most prevalent problems, potholes.
In the past, cold mix has been the usual solution employed by road crews when faced with the divots and gaping holes that litter Pahrump’s roadways. However this method has a history of providing, in many situations, only a very temporary fix.
Many times road crews fill a pot hole with cold mix only to have those irritating chinks in the roadway quickly reappear. The approval of the purchase of a new machine, a DuraPatcher, which utilizes a much different method for addressing pot holes, is now hoped to help ease some of the constant strain.
In mid-June, the Regional Transportation Commission gave the thumbs up for buying a new DuraPatcher, with the $87,445 cost coming out of the transportation commission’s budget.
The county had already acquired one DuraPatcher in 2018, which is primarily used in the central and northern parts of the county. The DuraPatcher approved in June, therefore, is to be specifically for use in the Pahrump area.
Following an acquisition and set-up process several months in length, Nye County Public Works has finally put the new DuraPatcher into action in the valley.
A very excited Nye County Commission Chairman John Koenig had the opportunity to get some hands-on experience with the new Pahrump DuraPatcher during its local debut.
On Oct. 10 Koenig headed out to the Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue Service’s main office just off Highway 160 to meet up with road crew members and take a turn at operating the DuraPatcher.
“I thoroughly enjoyed working the machine,” Koenig, who is also a member of the Regional Transportation Commission, told the Pahrump Valley Times afterward. “It’s fairly easy to use and seems to do a great job.”
Koenig also added a few background details, explaining why the DuraPatcher is hoped to provide a longer lasting solution to Pahrump’s pot hole problem. “The fact that it uses oil to bond should make a great difference in the amount of time that a patch lasts,” Koenig stated. “As you know, today we sweep loose material from a pothole, throw in cold patch, tamp it down and go away, only to come back and do it over. This seems to be able to make a patch almost permanent.”
Nye County Public Works Director Tim Dahl explained that the DuraPatcher was put to work in front of the fire station because that area has been damaged by the heavy equipment used by the fire department team.
“This is a test to see how the DuraPatcher material performs under heavy equipment conditions where cold mix would not have been able to work at all,” Dahl stated. “More than likely, we will let the material set up and harder, then put another layer on it to hold up to Chief Scott Lewis’ equipment. This is thousands of dollars cheaper than using asphalt to do the same patch.”
Dahl said target areas for the DuraPatcher include those that have previously patched pot holes that have needed to be filled repeatedly.
It will be out on the roadways until some time this winter, when the oil needed to operate the machine will not be available.
However, the winter pause should only last until the beginning of next year, with Dahl stating the machine will likely be back at work by the end of January, 2020.
Anyone who wishes to report a road concern anywhere in Nye County, including potholes, weeds or brush in the right of way or the need for gravel road maintenance, is encouraged to utilize the county’s online road maintenance request form.
The form can be found at www.nyecounty.net under “Quick Links.” Those making reports are asked to be as specific as possible about the type of problem they are reporting and the location of the requested maintenance.
Residents can also upload photographs to help assist road crews with addressing the request.
Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at email@example.com