Reporter: Brent Forbes
It's a hot commodity nowadays, and Shreveport City workers use it to patch potholes, like this one on Washington Street. Former 'Pothole Patrol' regular, Trinidey Clark says, "this is one of the smaller ones than we usually find during the day". Streets and Drainage Superintendent Ernie Negrete says the city's asphalt roads have more enemies than cars; there's also rain. Negrete says, "it gets saturated, it breaks down and that's when a pot hole forms".
Negrete says once the road breaks down, it costs more to fill potholes like this one, because of one of asphalts main ingredients. Petroleum. Negrete says, "exactly...the price of oil goes up, the price of asphalt goes up also". So what does that mean for his department? Negrete says, "as far as asphalt making patches, it's just a little more expensive to make a patch". Negrete continues, "it's gone up 27 percent from last year which is a lot of money".
The city paid 33 dollars a ton for asphalt last year. This year, it's up to 44 dollars a ton. And crews use between 3,800 and 4,500 hundred tons a year. Negrete says, "we may not do as many streets because of the cost of asphalt". But Negrete says problem potholes will be patched. Shreveport City Engineers say contractors are charging 15 dollars more a ton for asphalt this year. Public Works the city does recycle broken asphalt to use on small streets and alleys.