The Ely Times

Have you noticed a large truck with an odd looking device attached to it that fills potholes? Maybe you’ve noticed Mill street looking a little different?  

The City of Ely road department sat down with The Ely Times to explain what they are working on and explained how streets are being repaired and maintained.   

Russell Merritt, lead member of the street department,  and Supervisor Mike Cracraft explained how they came up with a plan of what they can accomplish, and what they would like to accomplish at the beginning of each year.  

The weather has been a little more challenging this year repairing streets, with a relatively cooler and wetter Spring and Summer.   

“With everything as wet as it was, we couldn’t fix them until the weather dried out. And certain materials aren’t available until a certain time of the year.  There are certain things because of where we are located, we have to wait for,” Merritt said. 

Going into the third year for the durapatch machine, Merritt explains how it works. A small amount of oil is applied and then a rock and oil mix is added to the hole. 

It is a fast setting oil, where it sets up quickly. Merritt notes that the operator working the durapatcher can control the mixture and they seek to find the perfect medium on the mix. “It provides an excellent base, they hold up really well, and it’s an extremely fast alternative, we can do a block in a day.”  

In addition to the durapatcher, the city has begun picking roads to work on with the distributor truck. The Regional Transportation Commission, the City of Ely and White Pine County purchased a distributor truck, which helps out on these road stabilizations. It has helped with cost, it has helped with distributing these to the roads.  

The distribution truck has many functions, one oil it seals, and the other oil rejuvenates the roads.  

Several of the roads are well maintained Merritt said, and they will seal those type of roads so that will buy the City some time, and help the road from deteriorating anymore.  

“Where we live, we get the heat, we get the moisture, the snow, and rain, which is back and forth,” Merritt said.   

Cracraft said, “You know, in January, we can go from 40 below to a high of 50.” 

 Merritt said, “It’s the environment we live in, and it’s terrible for roads.”  

Having a verbal agreement between the city and county during the last two years has been instrumental in both departments collaborating efforts on projects. 

A road stabilization project on Mill Street was completed on Aug. 13. This was the second phase of the project.  The county suggested utilizing the distributor truck rather than laying new asphalt after their efforts on the Georgetown Ranch road proved to be very successful. 

Merritt noted this should be a really good end product, and the city could utilize this truck around the city, and plan for future projects. 

Merritt and Cracraft both expressed their appreciation for having the county road department in addition to the Nevada Department of Transportation to share experience and knowledge with.  

“NDOT is never to busy to help us and the county has been helping the city out. It’s been a relief to have that help and support,” Merritt said.