New ‘toy’ = smoother roads

As a dump truck drops fresh asphalt in the hopper, Steven Banfield guides the mini-paver along the alley between 42nd Street and 43rd Street.

Mini-paver will help Public Works tackle potholes, bad pavement

 COVINGTON, Ky. - The newest “toy” bought by the City of Covington’s Public Works Department will bring noticeable benefits for drivers: Smoother road surfaces, longer-lasting pothole repairs, and long-term cost savings.
The “toy” is actually a serious-looking piece of equipment: a 38-horsepower, 5-ton Puckett 580 mini-paver with a 6.5-ton hopper and propane screed heat that is capable - when the side “wings” are lowered - of laying a strip of asphalt 13 feet wide.
“When it comes to keeping Covington’s roads in good repair and top driving condition, this machine will do wonders for us,” Public Works Director Chris Warneford said.
The mini-paver will be used in several ways, he said. 
  • To fix potholes in a way that lasts longer and is less noticeable. Rather than just fill in holes, crews will grind them out to create larger patches that can be “feathered in.”
  • To extend the lifespan of streets - delaying the need for super-expensive rebuilds - by repaving entire sections of bad pavement.
  • To fix haphazard repair jobs by outside contractors who cut into city streets to do work on things like utilities, water lines and sewers.
  • To accelerate the work on alleys that need repaving. 

The alley, after crews swept it free of debris, filled in holes with dense grade material, and laid down a strip of asphalt

The Covington Board of Commissioners recently approved the purchase of the mini-paver, a 2019 demo model with only 135 hours of use, for $65,939. They used money left over in the road salt budget because of the mild winter.
The City’s current mini-paver was 44 years old, no longer fit the department’s trucks, and required extensive manual labor to operate.
Public Works crews led by cement brick mason Steven Banfield - who will be the Puckett mini-paver’s lead operator -- have been experimenting with it over the last few weeks and this week laid new asphalt on a one-block stretch of alley between 42nd Street and 43rdStreet near Decoursey Avenue in Latonia.
“This was a test strip more than anything, and we’re making adjustments to the paver as we go,” Warneford said.
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