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February 26, 2014

'The worst winter for potholes'

Communities scramble to keep up with complaints


Mike Mazzotta of Mazzotta Construction in Haverhill towed his hot box to Corliss Hill Road yesterday and worked with members of the Highway Department to fill potholes which recently appeared and have plagued drivers.

Mazzotta said he picked up a load of hot asphalt in the morning from the Brox Industries and was able to maintain a temperature of 250 degrees using the steel container’s propane gas heating system. He said the box can hold four tons of asphalt, which is enough for about a day’s worth of pothole patching.

“It’s a huge gas grill,” Mazzotta said.

After chipping ice out of potholes on Corliss Hill Road, Highway Department worker Barry Wilson slipped a pair of sheet metal sandals over his boots to tamp down the asphalt that was dumped into the ruts. He then followed up with a heavy hand-held tamper. The crew planned to continue their pothole patching on Whittier Road and Hilldale Avenue.

“Corliss Hill Road has traditionally been very bad, with water running down that hill,” Fiorentini said.

The city plans to hold another pothole contest for prizes this spring. This will be the third year. The contest provides an incentive to residents to report potholes, which the city promises to fill within 48 hours of them being reported.

“Last year’s pothole contest was very successful,” Fiorentini said.

The mayor said the city is always on the lookout for a more effective pothole patching material.

“It puzzles me that someone has not come up with something that works in the winter,” he said.

Lawrence is dealing with a flood of complaints about potholes across the city. Mayor Daniel Rivera said the condition of the roads is a major concern. He has been urging residents to report potholes to the city’s Department of Public Works.

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