Yearly Archives

2012

Hurricane Sandy’s Effects on Atlantic Seaboard Roads, Pavement Widespread

By Uncategorized

Hurricane Sandy’s massively damaged the infrastructure in NY, NJ, NC, CT and RI. Rapid repair of roads, bridges, water and sewer systems will reduce net costs.   The images from Hurricane Sandy’s wrath in northeastern U.S. states include many of streets inundated with water as well as beachfront highways completely destroyed by storm surges. The loss of life, with nearly 100 storm-related deaths reported and the full tally not yet…

Read More

Early Summer Heat Wave Buckling Pavement

By Uncategorized

The Weather Channel predicted above-average warmth for the Southwest, Midwest, Great Lakes and Northeast back in April (of 2012). The fact that highway pavement is buckling in all those places from heat – already in June – is proving that forecast to be on the money. That’s because scorching summertime temperatures in the 90s and 100s (Fahrenheit – in Celsius that’s about 32 to 38 degrees C and higher) have come…

Read More

Urban Alleys: New Roles for Old Paths

By Uncategorized

The concept of what an alley is varies from place to place. But alleys everywhere are in a state of flux, changing and responding to how people live and businesses operate. Some of these changes are pretty exciting – and have a lot to do with how they are paved, and if the potholes are kept at bay. In Chicago, adherents to the Chicago Plan of 1909 (which was drawn…

Read More

NYC’s The Daily Pothole a Tally of Repair

By Uncategorized

Only in New York, kids… only in New York. That is closing line on New York Post columnist Cindy Adams’ usual run down of the weird and famous of the Big Apple. But we might say the same of the NYC Department of Transportation’s clever method for communicating the relentless enterprise of pothole repair. The department sponsors a website called The Daily Pothole, which does what you might expect: it…

Read More

Pavement Maintenance Lagging, Many Roads Returning to Gravel

By Uncategorized

For many farmers and residents of rural areas in the U.S., it’s like a step back into time. Due to inadequate road repair funds, several states and counties across America are converting once-paved roads back to gravel. According to conditions reported in The Wall Street Journal in 2010, the price of petroleum has a lot to do with it. Asphalt is made with aggregate mixed with oil byproducts. With the…

Read More

Would Heavier Trucks Cause More Potholes?

By Uncategorized

With an untold number of potholes on American highways, roads and streets, there are concerns that a pending piece of federal legislation might add to the count. The bill is H.R. 763, the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act, which would allow an increase in single-vehicle truck weights from the current limit of 80,000 pounds to 97,000 pounds. At first glance, this seems to be a proposal to place greater strains…

Read More

Hot, Cold and Recycled: Different Asphalts for Different Conditions

By Uncategorized

America has spent more than one trillion dollars building its infrastructure of streets, roads, highways and superhighways. Because that building program began decades ago – for cars and bicycles 100 years ago, and in earnest since the 1950s – much of that investment today is crumbling. Potholes are everywhere – but so too is the innovative drive to plug up those breaks in asphalt (most roads are built with asphalt,…

Read More

Keep on Truckin’? Roads Pay the Price

By Uncategorized

Population growth includes more hauling by truck. And it’s ripping our roads apart. America now has 308 million people, up from 200 million in 1968 and 150 million in 1950 – which was about the time we started building most of our roads. This growth is about more than just people driving around in cars. It’s about all our things – the stuff that goes into making the stuff, and…

Read More

Pavement Preservation:

By Uncategorized

Introduction: If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.  It’s a popular cliche that, in the current economic climate especially, holds significant bearing on how people spend their money.  In an attempt to stretch dollars already spent, there is a tendency to postpone maintenance until the last possible moment.  For example, a car driving down the road with squeaking brakes.  So long as they aren’t grinding, the driver is content wearing…

Read More

Can Warm Winter Snowplow Savings Fix Potholes?

By Uncategorized

The mild winter of 2011-2012 is proving to be a windfall for state, city and county transportation departments. With less snow and ice to remove, that’s less plowing and salt spreading than in previous winters. Fewer days of plowing means less gas consumption and work crew overtime, and less salt to purchase as well. To municipalities of even a modest size, that can translate to tens of thousands of dollars…

Read More

WINTER 2011 – EXTRAORDINARY POTHOLES

By Uncategorized

The La Nina weather pattern is in force in the Pacific Ocean off Chile, and that means less snow in the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut tri-state region. At least, that’s what the National Weather Service is predicting – a forecast that more or less concurs with the Old Farmer’s Almanac, which makes its predictions based on sunspots, tidal waves and astrological positions. Says the Almanac: “Colder than normal winter temperatures” will prevail,…

Read More

Complex Federal Approaches to Infrastructure Outlined in HuffPost Article

By Uncategorized

The economics and politics of infrastructure investment by the public sector – perhaps in partnership with the private sector in public-private partnerships (PPPs) – are outlined in detail in this article by Huffington Post reporter Matt Sledge. Sledge’s article looks at developed and developing countries such as China, Japan and the Russian Federation, which help illustrate by contrast the woefully under-funded inland transport infrastructure found in the U.S.

Read More

OKC Potholes: A Dozen Crews at Work All Year

By Uncategorized

Oklahoma is just south enough to be outside the Snow Belt – i.e., it may snow, but not at the epic levels seen in Minneapolis and Chicago – however, that doesn’t mean places like Oklahoma City don’t get their share of potholes. The amount of rain, traffic and freeze-thaw cycles in the region still causes plenty of cracks, crevices, chuckholes and pavement divots. Statewide, the average annual cost-per-vehicle from damage due…

Read More

Volunteers Fix Potholes in Escondido

By Uncategorized

From time to time, news will surface that someone got so fed up with a particular pothole that he or she filled and fixed it them self. George Weir of Escondido has been doing that for three years, but on a much grander scale. The owner of Escondido Asphalt, Inc. (and several other businesses in construction and agriculture) has been putting between $80,000 and $100,000 of company resources to work…

Read More

Potholes Hurt Business, But San Francisco Votes to Fight Back

By Uncategorized

The voters of San Francisco understand a basic fact about potholes. By a two-to-one margin in a November 2011 referendum, they approved a $250 million bond measure to fix their streets. It was a bold move in recessionary times, and the vote might provide a case study from which the rest of the country might learn. Throughout the country, from the expressways of California to the bridges of New Jersey…

Read More

Hot, Cold and Recycled: Different Asphalts for Different Conditions

By Uncategorized

America has spent more than one trillion dollars building its infrastructure of streets, roads, highways and superhighways. Because that building program began decades ago – for cars and bicycles 100 years ago, and in earnest since the 1950s – much of that investment today is crumbling. Potholes are everywhere – but so too is the innovative drive to plug up those breaks in asphalt (most roads are built with asphalt,…

Read More

Milder Winter, Fewer Potholes?

By Uncategorized

The reworking of the U.S. weather maps in early January reflects what most of the northern tier of the United States has quietly been happy about: This winter hasn’t turned out to be nearly as bad as expected. That might result in smoother driving next summer, from less damage to streets and highways, and more money to fix potholes because snow and ice removal have not been necessary. There are,…

Read More