Pothole Danger is Real, Far Worse Than Flat Tires

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Of course we think of potholes as hidden dangers. We don’t see them until it’s too late. And often what looks like a harmless puddle is actually a 14-inch deep crater, merely holding water from last night’s rain. But aside from the jarring fright of a sudden, unexpected bump, and the unnerving shock at the cost to repair a car (from damaged tires, rims, alignments, catalytic converters, etc.), we may not often think about the true physical dangers of potholes. It’s no exaggeration to say that potholes kill. But not…read more

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Oregon’s OReGO Miles-Driven Tracker Test Underway

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Up to 5,000 cars and small trucks will help the state see how a vehicle-miles-driven (VMT) program might replace the fuel tax to fund road repair. The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) launched a test pay-per-mile tax program on July 1, 2015 – and a pothole-pocked nation is watching to see if it is the wave of the future for generating road maintenance funds in lieu of traditional gas taxes. There are plenty of doubters over whether a vehicle-miles-traveled replacement for the gas tax will work. Some cite privacy issues,…read more

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Fix Existing Roads vs. Build New: All Positions Considered

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The question on how to fix America’s existing roadways creates strange political bedfellows. Fiscal conservatives are arguing the same thing as environmental conservationists – that fixing crumbling roads makes more sense than building new ones. Part of the reason why is that people simply are driving less than in the past. Environmentalists in the Midwest are cheering the decision of newly elected Illinois Governor (R) Bruce Rauner for cancelling the Illiana Expressway, a proposed 47-mile link between two interstates (I-65 in Indiana and I-55 in Illinois). Costs for the project…read more

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Texas Floods Lead to Texas-Size Potholes

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In late May 2015 Texas received enough rainfall to cover the entire state in eight inches of water. Together with the equally saturated state of Oklahoma, it was the Lone Star State’s wettest single month on record. The Oklahoma Climatological Survey said the overall May recorded rainfall was 14.40 inches, by far eclipsing the state’s previous record of 10.75 inches set in October 1941. The rainfall, which spread over ten days, resulted in floods that caused $1 billion in property loss claims and another $3 billion in economic losses. At…read more

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California rectifies recession-neglected road repairs

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There’s a big push to repair roads and streets in California, much-needed highway maintenance that was put off in the recent economic downturn. It’s a story of righting some fiscal wrongs and opting for long-term solutions ­– fixing pavement so Golden State motorists have fewer car repairs to tend to and business can move along at a faster clip. Appropriately enough, the state capital is where some of the most aggressive repair work is underway in the spring of 2015. That’s in Sacramento County, where road crews are filling up to…read more

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