NYSDOT thinks cold patch is cool

Feb. 18, 2020

To address the pavement distresses caused by upstate New York’s extreme changes in temperature, the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) had been using a variety of hot and cold patches for repairs. While this is a common practice in many states, it is rapidly changing due to the introduction of patching material that is specifically formulated for wide-ranging temperatures and climates.

On February 12, 2014, the NYSDOT used HP Concrete Cold Patch by Crafco for the first time. HP is a cold-applied, single-component patching material used for repairing potholes, spalls, cracks and other confined voids and distresses larger than 1 in. wide and ½ in. deep in Portland cement concrete pavement. It requires no mixing, heating, mechanical compaction or special installation equipment.

To properly determine the product’s effectiveness, the NYSDOT decided to use HP to repair distresses in a section of I-88 that runs through Richmondville, N.Y. The average daily traffic on this stretch of I-88 is 10,000 to 11,500 vehicles.

For this trial installation, the cold patch was to be placed in some of the original 33-year-old slabs. Because of the age of these slabs and the amount of distress therein, the NYSDOT felt this would be the ideal location to test the product.

On the day of the installation, the National Weather Service issued winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories for upstate New York. But HP can be installed at any temperature and in any weather condition. It is approved and used as a high-performance patching material by most states and other user agencies in the United States.

The NYSDOT opted to have its own crews apply HP to the chosen areas for the test installation. It was applied in 2-in. lifts, lightly tamped and run over with truck tires. Fifteen bags of material were used for this repair. The repaired area only had two sidewalls, and the other two sides feathered out to the concrete surface.

HP is composed of a thermoplastic binder and aggregate composition that produces a durable patching material that is gray, like Portland cement concrete. It comes in bags to prevent waste and save money, and it is easy to install, even with a one-person operation.

To use HP, simply remove it from the bag and place it into the prepared area to be patched, leveled and compacted. It is ready for traffic immediately after compaction. No additional curing time is needed.

The NYSDOT monitored the entire installation very closely. The day after the installation, a two-day snowstorm hit the area and the newly repaired surface came in constant contact with snowplow blades.

After the snowstorm, the NYSDOT requested that Crafco join it to inspect the repair. Despite the assault of snowplow blades, the NYSDOT acknowledged that the patch was completely intact and the product installation test was a success.

The NYSDOT then used HP to repair distresses in other non-treated areas of the road and is still using HP today with great success. 

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