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Oneida County highway crews poly seal potholes on Highway 17Submitted: 02/16/2017

Lane Kimble
Assistant News Director
lkimble@wjfw.com


RHINELANDER - Driving down Highway 17 in Oneida County should feel a little smoother this week.  It's thanks to a crew that isn't too thrilled about unseasonably warm weather.

Oneida County Highway Department workers patched potholes with blow torches, pressure guns, and hot tar.  The process is called poly patching.  The workers blow out cold patch potholes, heat the tar to about 400 degrees, then fill in the hole and seal it.


"Every time we start getting frost coming out of the ground again we're getting big holes," crew member Darren Friday said. "[We don't really like the unseasonable warm up] because it's a lot of work."

Poly patching lasts around a year, compared to just a couple days with cold patch. The Highway 17 crew worked that stretch all week, which always has a steady stream of traffic.

"You've got your nose to the ground, not behind you so you rely on your partner to watch for traffic," Friday said. "You gotta do it... I would say most of the public that sees us out here appreciates what we're doing because these holes, as you can see, are pretty huge."

The week was slow-going for the crew. They spent three days just working on the Eisenhower Parkway intersection near Kwik Trip.

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