Pima looking at purchasing Asphalt Zipper to redo town roads

Screengrab via www.asphaltzipper.com: Pima is looking into purchasing an asphalt zipper to perform in-house road repair in a timely manner.

By Jon Johnson


PIMA – Having nicely maintained streets and roads is a hallmark of a community. In Pima, a number of roads have fallen into disrepair, but Pima Town Manager Vernon Batty has a plan to turn the tide. 

Batty has brought the Pima Town Council’s attention toward the possibility of purchasing a $200,000 Asphalt Zipper that would increase the amount of roadwork that could be completed and do so at a vastly reduced cost, according to its website.   

“It would be a very cost-effective and efficient way to redo our roads in town,” Batty told the council at its June meeting. “If it does what it says it does, it would kind of be a savior for us . . . I think it would solve our road problems.” 

The process is simple. First, the asphalt zipper pulverizes the existing asphalt or chip seal surface and blends it with a predetermined portion of the base. Following that, the blend can be graded and reshaped before compacting and then finishing by paving over or with a chip seal. For Pima, Batty said the town would chip seal over the compacted result. 

Batty said the town could fix a number of roads that have various issues by using this machine and added that it could also help with the section of 800 West that runs from 1200 South/Cottonwood Wash Road to the Pima Cemetery entrance. 

Batty said while that section is “paved” it is broken underneath and the town keeps putting dirt on top of it to grade it. The road was even shut down for a while. The road is used by traffic to the baseball/soccer fields and Vard Lines Memorial Roping Arena.  

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: This road that runs along the roping arena and ballfields is one that Batty proposed could be corrected utilizing the asphalt zipper.

“With this, we could go down to the base where that old asphalt is and grind it up and repurpose it,” Batty said.

The town would then chip seal where the road is straight and place either concrete, asphalt, or something else where the road curves because plain chip seal would get brushed off by vehicles. 

Batty said financing is available for the machine, and HURF (Highway User Revenue Fund) money the town receives from the state can be used since it is for road improvement.

Graphic Courtesy Asphalt Zipper

The Pima Town Council appeared intrigued by the machine and requested the company provide a demonstration that Batty said would be no problem. Members commented on the dire need for road repair in numerous areas and that doing so would be good for town morale.  

“If we start working on roads, I think that will lift a lot of people’s spirits in our little town,” said council member Lucas Hoopes. “I think it could probably cause some excitement.” 

Batty said he believes the machine to be a “good solution” for the town and that it would put roadwork back into the hands of the town to do in-house. Additionally, since the road is ground together on-site, he said the process is streamlined and more efficient. The council then directed Batty to schedule a time for the company to demonstrate the machine to the council prior to it deciding on a purchase.