Salem, Ohio Pothole Once Famous, Now Fixed

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The way money is allocated in most cash-strapped cities, counties and townships across America, it often seems like a matter of splitting hairs. But the Butcher Road Pothole of 2011 in Columbiana County, Ohio really came down to splitting a road. All in the name of fiscal responsibility. A brouhaha erupted in the summer, when a pothole plaguing motorists seemed to be getting bigger while it was officially ignored. Citizens complained to the city of Salem, which owned one side of the road, and Perry Township, which borders the city…read more

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Driving Tips to Avoid Potholes – And Rising Tire Prices

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In case you didn’t like potholes in the winter of 2010-2011, there is a reason you’ll dislike potholes even more in the winter of 2011-2012. Here’s why: Potholes destroy tires, and the price of tires is rising sharply due to a supply shortage of natural rubber (yes, it still comes from trees, mostly in southeast Asia) and increasing demand from China, where car ownership is undergoing double-digit growth. Petroleum is also used in tire manufacturing, adding further to cost volatility. Blow out just one tire on one pothole and expect…read more

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NYC Mystery: Not a Pothole, a “Street Defect”

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In a city like New York there is a subterranean world. Pet alligators once flushed down toilets are rumored to roam the sewers – an apocryphal tale – and the drinking water system is said to leak like a sieve (true, as it turns out). There is evidence of secret tunnels in Queens connecting what once were two forts (Totten and Schuyler). “Invisible New York – The Hidden Infrastructure of the City” by Stanley Greenberg (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998) and “Invisible Frontier: Exploring the Tunnels, Ruins, and Rooftops of Hidden New…read more

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