Could Infrared Technology Vaporize Potholes in Philly?

City Councilman David Oh thinks so.

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

After this year’s brutal winter, Philadelphia officials say they’re on pace to patch up a record number of potholes. In Pennsylvania, one state lawmaker says the pothole situation is so “out of control” that drivers should be able to sue the state for property damage caused by the craters.

But Philadelphia City Councilman David Oh says there’s another way: He wants city government to use infrared technology to seal potholes.

“We’re aware of the technology, but we’re not using it,” he says. “So we’re dealing with higher costs, less efficiency, more inconvenience, and more costs total when you consider flat tires.”

Parts of New Jersey, London and Asia have reportedly adopted the technology. Oh explains how it works: “You heat up the entire area so that the asphalt around the pothole melts to a degree, you put in the hot asphalt, and it bonds with the surface to become a permanent seal.”

One Jersey business that relies on the tech boasted to a CBS affiliate, “In the 13 years that we’re fixing potholes, we never get called back for one of our repairs.”

Mayor Michael Nutter’s administration says it already uses a piece of equipment known as the “pothole killer” that works faster than infrared technology, according to KYW. Oh says city officials are still open to his idea, though, and that he will continue to press his case.

“Particularly as we get more bicycle riders and scooter riders in Philadelphia, the potholes become a greater danger,” says Oh.

Watch how it works here:

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