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Pittsburgh is 1st in North America to use instant asphalt device

| Wednesday, April 15, 2015, 11:18 p.m.
Jasmine Goldband | Trib Total Media
Pittsburgh Public Works employee Ray Brooks demonstrates how to use the 'RoadMixer,' a mobile paving asphalt machine that produces its own certified grade asphalt for filling potholes.
Jasmine Goldband | Trib Total Media
Pittsburgh Public Works employees Joe Finello and Ray Brooks on Wednesday demonstrate the 'RoadMixer,' a mobile paving machine that produces hot asphalt to fill potholes.
Jasmine Goldband | Trib Total Media
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, Chief Operations Officer Guy Costa and City Council President Bruce Kraus introduce the 'RoadMixer,' a mobile paving asphalt machine that produces its own certified grade asphalt for filling potholes on the North Shore Wednesday, April 15, 2015.

The city of Pittsburgh this week acquired a powerful new weapon in the war against potholes.

A mobile asphalt truck — on lease from Road Mixer, based in Bethel, Delaware County — is one of seven of its kind in the world, able to mix premium-grade asphalt on site. The hot mix means a longer, stronger patch than dry asphalt, which crews can use currently because the city can only get hot asphalt from a plant in warmer weather.

Mayor Bill Peduto looked on during the truck's first deployment at Sandusky and West General Robinson streets on the North Shore at a Wednesday afternoon news conference.

“With this new vehicle we have the ability 24/7, 12 months a year, to fix potholes,” Peduto said. “Now we're going to be able to use it in Pittsburgh to be able to help our streets around the clock.”

The city is paying $16,000 for four months to lease the truck. Peduto said city crews are needed to run the truck and lay the asphalt.

Operations chief Guy Costa said if the truck is deemed efficient, the city can apply its payments to the $375,000 purchase price.

To use the Road Mixer, crews can heat up the asphalt mix on the way to the site. With a push of a button, a measured amount pours onto the road below, and crews can make the material level with the roadway.

Pittsburgh is the first North American municipality using Road Mixer, said sales manager Gerry Farmer. Six other vehicles are owned or leased in the United Kingdom.

“Typically today, most potholes are done on a temporary basis, so they're fixed many times before they actually get to resurface a road,” Farmer said. “Our machine is designed for a permanent, one-time fix.”

Melissa Daniels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8511 or

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