October 25, 2014
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Good vibrations? Company provides pothole fixers to cities and towns
Daniel Kittredge
Herald photo
LIVE DEMONSTRATION: Cranston Mayor Allan Fung uses VIBCO’s vibratory roller to patch a pothole on Natick Avenue.

Joining a number of other communities in the Ocean State, Cranston has received a free pothole-patching tool from a local company.

“We need to change the culture of how you repair roads,” said Karl Wadensten, president of VIBCO Vibrators Inc., after taking part in a demonstration of the company’s vibratory roller with Cranston Mayor Allan Fung and city highway personnel.

The roller is operated in roughly the same way as a lawnmower, and is designed to enhance the quality and longevity of “cold patches” on potholes through a stronger compression of material. Wadensten said the roller patches often perform nearly as well as a permanent fix.

Those involved in the March 12 event performed patches on Natick Avenue after a brief presentation at the city’s highway garage.

Wadensten said the vibratory roller is roughly 10 years old, and that his company has for some time been offering to provide the devices to municipalities. This year’s harsh winter – and the severe impact on local roadways – has provided what he called a “burning platform” for cities and towns to pursue new solutions.

VIBCO – which specializes in commercial and industrial vibrators – is offering one of the rollers to each of the state’s communities at no cost. Wadensten said use of the rollers will reduce costs and free up time for public works crews to handle other needs.

“Fixing potholes is kind of a pain in the neck, and it’s dangerous,” he said.

In turn, Wadensten said his company can garner feedback from crews regarding what’s working and what new innovations may be possible.

“[It is] the purest kind of collaboration I can think of,” he said. “This is not a money-making scheme for anybody.”

At present, 14 municipalities have taken up VIBCO on its offer.


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