Guerilla Road Repair: fast and easy!

Many of us do guerilla gardening.

It's also possible to perform guerilla road repair!

That's what Mark and I did today. A pothole opened up in front of the Friendly's on a heavily traveled road that we use regularly. The road is heavily traveled at shift change for the Reese factory but otherwise doesn't see that much traffic.
It wasn't a huge pothole but it was jarring to drive over and irritating to avoid.

The township won't be repairing it anytime soon.

Mark had already repaired a pothole closer to our house, with gravel.
This one demanded more effort as it's a much more heavily traveled road AND it was a long, wide, shallow rectangle.

He bought cold-mix asphalt in a bag for $12. It was ready to use and could be used in 40 degree weather. He prepared the tools needed.
We jobbed this task with our usual errands so we didn't have to make a special trip.

Once at the Friendly's, we parked, hauled the cold-asphalt, a trash bag, a knife (to open the bag), a hoe (to spread the cold-mix evenly), a tamper (to pound it flat and dense), and a trowel (for any fine work).

It took about ten minutes to fill the hole with one bag. Mark had bought two but one bag filled the pothole nicely with some room to spare. The issue here is having a partially used bag: what do you do with the remaining cold-mix?

We'll see how well the cold-mix holds up in a road as compared to a driveway, for which this product is made. It's better than the pothole, that's for sure.
The key is probably packing it into the hole tightly, thus the hoe and the tamper.

I wouldn't recommend guerilla road repair for larger problems but for a pothole on your street that will never get fixed, think about it! One bag fills a one cubic foot space for $12 and weighs 50 pounds. $12 is much less than replacing a tire.


David Trammel's picture

I've found with asphalt, there's going to be some compaction over time and with use. You'll probably need to add some at a point in the future. Unless it sets up and becomes unusable, save it for then.

Thank you! We'll do that and recheck the pothole in March.

Last week Wednesday, Mark and I patched the pothole in front of Friendly's.
He didn't fill up the hole completely and the patch was obvious and new.

Today on Wednesday, someone else came and topped it off! Mounding the asphalt to allow it to drain better and subside nicely.

I have no idea if the township did this, embarrassed because the citizens are filling potholes.

Interestingly, Mark filled another pothole last winter with gravel and a few months later, someone (the township?) filled it over with asphalt. They let that hole sit empty, getting bigger for over a year.

The answer is obvious: do your guerilla road repair and the city will take notice and finish the job.

ClareBroommaker's picture

I've thought of doing what you two did, but our road problems are bigger than potholes. We have many developing sinkholes and subsidence due to water running along buried utilities and scouring out ponds below the surface. Also we have porous limestone bedrock which tends to create caves and sinkholes. I have sometimes thought I could carry a can of bright spray paint to mark the edges of the holes so that drivers would be alerted not to hit the edges hard and break an axle or ruin a wheel/tire. Public service, personally provided.

Yes, that's a great idea. You will alert motorists AND possibly get the city's attention and get those problem areas moved up on the repair list.

Guerilla road repair is similar to guerilla gardening. You want to be careful so you aren't seen.