Entrepreneur and inventor Jack Wilson, Sr. believes he has the goods to alleviate many of Jackson’s pothole woes.
Wilson, founder of MegaTek, a PolyCon International company, demonstrated a patent pending, environmentally friendly polymer-based pothole filling solution on Friday in Fondren. Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, Councilwoman Virgi Lindsay (Ward 7) and Councilman Aaron Banks (Ward 6) were in attendance.
“We think this will be a significant influence on the future of paving maintenance,” Wilson said of his mixture that has been tested overseas and is making its stateside debut. “We wanted a good demo with a city and wanted the first time to be in our home state, in Mississippi.”
In the test today on Northview Drive, the self-leveling liquid was poured and dried in approximately 15 minutes – and needed no tamping. Sections filled 15 minutes prior took the weight of a passing truck with no signs of duress.
“There are no negatives,” Wilson said. “It’s stronger than asphalt, stronger than cold pack, not affected by water, UV [light] or anything. Actually, after it stands for an hour, you can hit it with a sledgehammer and not get it up. It lasts longer than the road you put it on.”
MegaTek, a PolyCon subsidiary, would furnish a production model mixer to the city with a minimum order. Wilson says this isn’t for one-off filling but for mass production, “100 potholes a day, easily,” he added. “This is the only pothole patching product that will give a guarantee that it works. For five years, it will have a certificate of warranty. If there’s anything that happens to it, other than some sort of sabotage, we will replace it for five years.”
“We thank the community for allowing us the opportunity to use this street (Northview) as a model and as an opportunity to do this experiment and see where it takes us and what the possibilities are,” Mayor Lumumba said. “If the product is as Mr. Wilson says it is, it could present an opportunity for a more durable solution to our issues.”
Since 1978 Wilson has had 11 U.S. patents issued for machines and processes, and two currently pending. In 1978, before founding PolyCon, he founded Surfmark Inc., a post tension concrete contracting company and Sunbelt Sealing Inc., an asphalt pavement company. His company is based in Gluckstadt, Miss.
Publisher’s note: This mixture won’t help potholes caused by underlying water leaks. What it will do is take a host of pock marked streets off city to-do lists and allow public works to focus on larger problems. Mayor Lumumba stressed at a 1 p.m. press conference that the city has not signed anything; this is not a “done deal.” Today’s demonstration will test the material’s durability and be evaluated for cost effectiveness.