Pothole Pylons Warn Drivers on Quebec’s James Bay Road

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Maintenance costs for a road connecting small communities in the Hudson Bay region were cut in 2015 – and the predictable increase in potholes arrived on cue. James Bay Road (JBR) in northwestern Quebec (Canada) is a two-lane, 388-mile journey from the town of Matagami in the province’s interior north to Radisson, a village of about 500 people. The termination point is 1500 kilometers (about 900 miles) north of Toronto. It was built in the early 1970s to accommodate the development of hydroelectric projects in the James Bay region, which…read more

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Panama’s Tweeting Potholes

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We’ve always heard the squeaky wheel gets the grease. In Panama City, Panama it’s the tweeting potholes that get fixed. The city by the big canal is growing by leaps and bounds, with newly built high-rise condominiums, office towers, banks and hotels changing the skyline. But the streets haven’t kept up with the buildings – in fact, construction has probably contributed to the poor quality of the city’s streets already suffering from years of neglect. So a local news station, Telemetro Reporta, engaged the marketing firm P4 Ogilvy & Mather…read more

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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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