City adds high-tech paving trucks and jobs for $500,000 anti-blight project

As part of its "Taking It to the Streets" city-wide cleanup initiative, the City of Memphis plans to purchase two new high-tech pothole-patching trucks and increase the number of repair crews from six to 12 for the $500,000 project that will run throughout the summer.
 
"The Public Works department is expecting to hire an additional 16 seasonal staff to supplement our street maintenance operations," says Robert Knecht, City of Memphis Deputy Director of Public Works, who explains that his department has mapped out the local planned street resurfacing for the next five years.
 
The city currently owns one Pro-Patch truck in its fleet and will receive two more as soon as the manufacturer can deliver them. The new Pro-Patch trucks are expected to improve productivity by 25 percent to 35 percent.
 
"Previously two trucks and equipment might need to be sent to complete the same repair," says Knecht.
 
The specialized insulated bodies of the new trucks, which hold 100 gallons of asphalt tack, keep the asphalt heated to the desired temperature, helping to cut down on asphalt waste. And the trucks are equipped with all of the tools needed to complete repairs.
 
The "Taking It to the Streets" anti-blight and anti-litter initiative is a focus of Mayor A C Wharton's "Four Ps"--potholes, pension, prosperity and public safety.
 
"We are pleased to report that our Public Works department has completed 426 cut-and-patch repairs and filled more than 29,000 potholes just in the last six months, since January," Wharton said in a prepared statement.  "And with the addition of new equipment and crews, we expect an equally productive second half of the year."
 
By Michael Waddell
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