Boston Targets Potholes With Phone App, Patcher

BOSTON (CBS) – The city thinks it’s found a better way to fill potholes faster.

The Public Works Department unveiled its new “Pro-Patch Pothole Patcher” Wednesday in South Boston.

machine Boston Targets Potholes With Phone App, Patcher

The Pro-Patch Pothole Patcher in South Boston.

It’s a truck-mounted patching machine with an insulated and heated body that keeps asphalt at the proper temperature.

That means crews can make permanent pothole repairs in the winter, instead of waiting for warmer weather to arrive.

“That’s what this is all about, because (normally) we have to wait until the springtime. Well, we don’t want to wait until the springtime. We want to do it now and we’ll be able to do it immediately,” Mayor Tom Menino told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

The city bought the machine back in October for about $150,000.

Authorities are also testing out a new smart phone app called “Boston Street Bump,” which would basically report potholes as soon as you drive over them.

Menino talks to WBZ NewsRadio 1030 producer Jon MacLean

Users would download the app for free and put the device in their pockets as they drive.

Sensors in the software would detect bumps in the road and send the street information to a server, which would deliver the information to the city, notifying it instantly of the problem.

“As you drive around the city, it will be reported immediately, right to the public works department where the potholes may be, that will give us a quicker need to service the potholes we find,” Menino said.

The experimental application could be ready for public use in the fall.

WBZ-TV’s Kate Merrill reports.


More From CBS Boston

Summer of Savings
Download Weather App

Listen Live