Behind the scenes look at how asphalt is made to fill potholes on Long Island

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Kristin Thorne reports from Melville. (WABC)

It's a key ingredient to fixing all those potholes all over the area this time of the year, but making all that asphalt for road crews can be tricky business.

It's a process few people see.

"Certain materials have more sand in it, others have more stone in it," said James Haney, the General Manager of Rason Materials.

It's how they make asphalt for those pesky potholes.

It's more technical than you would think.

Haney showed Eyewitness News how it works in Melville.

"We have all different types of material here. Yes, over there is our broken asphalt pile that's what we crush and recycle. Stone sand, yellow sand and three quarter stone," Haney said.

"And it all gets mixed together?" Eyewitness News asked.

"Yes, depending upon the requirements for us we have different mix designs and stuff like that. So for example, New York State DOT requires a different mix than a person who wants a parking lot," Haney said.

They dump material down these bins.

It then mixes below on this conveyor belt and continues along.

"Material goes into that shaker deck and gets out clumps or anything else that shouldn't be in the mix," Haney said.

The material eventually makes its way into drums where it's heated to about 300 degrees just to get rid of the moisture in the material, and when it comes out you get the final product.

"We've done up to over 3,000 tons a day," Haney said.

During this time of year, the trucks from local municipalities and private companies can line up all day waiting for their turn to fill up.

Back in the control room, "He pretty much keeps an eye on the mix temperature. He keeps an eye on the motors and make sure nothing is high amping," Haney said.

Another worker presses the button.

And down it goes.

And when you drive by you probably wonder, why are there so many potholes every year?


"Long Island when the roads were built they've reached their life cycle. They're over. You can't extend them any longer. They're all starting to collapse and deteriorate at the same time," said Marc Herbst, of the Long Island Contractors' Association.

And so the grind continues.



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