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pothole.info

Domino’s Pizza Now Delivering Pothole Fixes

By Uncategorized

The media – social and traditional – has been on fire this week about potholes. More to the point, the extensive coverage and conversation is about who is fixing potholes. The fixer, by way of funding, is Domino’s Pizza. The chain is refreshingly transparent about their marketing angle in doing this. Even the press release concludes with a paragraph about buying a large, three-topping pizza ($7.99) so “customers can celebrate…

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The Cost of Car Damages from Potholes

By Uncategorized

The average motorist shells out $300 per year due to pothole damages. But not all potholes and their aftereffects are created equal. Those costs can be much higher. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), pothole damages to U.S. motorists total about $3 billion per year. On a per-pothole-incident basis, that works out to about $300 per driver. But depending on what part of your car was damaged those costs…

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Driverless Cars vs. Potholes

By potholes, Uncategorized

When autonomous vehicles come upon a pothole they don’t react like a human. Emerging technologies could solve this problem, but there are ethical issues to iron out. Chess-playing computers have been able to beat humans at the game since at least 2005. But car-driving automation (some call them driverless or autonomous vehicles) is something else. Programmers haven’t fully figured out how to make the rule-bending decisions that humans make on…

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Why Are Winter Pothole Repairs So Lousy?

By Uncategorized

The difference between temporary and permanent pothole repairs illustrates how there are different kinds of asphalt. So why not fix potholes right the first time? We tend to think of road pavement, most of which is asphalt (some is concrete), as generic. In fact it’s not. And that’s why most municipalities dealing with winter potholes use a type of temporary pothole filler. Come spring and summer, road crews return with…

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Potholes and Road Hazard Insurance: What’s Covered?

By potholes

Tire warranties and comprehensive/collision insurance might cover your pothole-related car damage costs. But each has limits – read the fine print, and alert your DOT when you see a serious pothole. The statistics on damage to cars from potholes across the US are staggering: a 2016 study from the AAA auto club found that American motorists shell out $3 billion each year to repair tires and vehicles that hit rough…

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Permanent Pothole Repair – In Cold and Water?

By potholes, Uncategorized

Hot asphalt is more finicky than most people realize: It can’t fix pavement in cold and wet conditions. That’s why newer asphalt formulations were devised. It’s remarkable that asphalt has and continues to be so important in modern society. For all our technologies in a digital age, having flat pavement for cars, trucks, buses and bicycles is as important as ever. When potholes and lengthy road building activity slow traffic,…

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Pothole Predictions for Winter 2017-2018

By Uncategorized

Accumulating historical data, particularly on El Niño and La Niña conditions, provide some idea on how the coming winter will affect us – and our streets. Predicting the weather is regarded as an inexact science. But from when the first Farmer’s Almanac was printed in 1792 until today, the tools for doing so have improved considerably. The wooliness of caterpillars, early geese departures, and rings around the moon are giving way to…

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Innovation and Political Leadership Can Fix Potholes

By potholes, Uncategorized

In her book, “Move: Putting America’s Infrastructure Back in the Lead,” author Rosabeth Kanter sees technology, privatization and political will as the answer to our crumbling infrastructure. Rosabeth Moss Kanter is not an expert on asphalt and potholes per sé. The Harvard Business School professor is a specialist in strategy, innovation and leadership for change. And she has some pretty big, strategic and innovative ideas and perspectives on the sweeping…

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California Bucks Convention with Gas Tax Increases, New Fees

By Uncategorized

Infrastructure repairs, potholes included, are targeted with $52.4 billion that will be raised with gas and sales tax increases and electric car fees. As previously reported* on Pothole.info, it seems as if raising funds to repair potholed roads by way of a gas tax is not politically possible. Measure after measure proposed by voter referendum and in state legislatures – not to mention anything on the federal level – have been…

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Infrastructure Czar Norman Anderson Advocates Holistic Strategies

By Uncategorized

Highly qualified appointee sees job creation as part of the overall value of modernization and repair of systems that knit America together. The Trump Administration has named Norman F. Anderson to be the nation’s “infrastructure czar,” which provides somewhat of a window on if and how the nation’s roads, airports, ports, public transportation, and electrical grids might be improved over the next several years. Anderson is an infrastructure professional, currently…

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Sensors, GPS and Crowdsourcing vs. Potholes

By potholes, Uncategorized

Newer technologies are reinventing how we fix crumbling infrastructure – in particular, potholes. Cars, bikes, garbage trucks, and drones are part of it. In an era when smartphones, “smart cities,” the Internet of Things (IoT), and “the cloud” litter our conversations, it may seem as if the discussion is moving far away from the basics of unbroken asphalt and smooth pavement. But in fact these are things that might mean fewer street potholes, more-efficient…

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Why Asphalt and Pothole Repairs are a Summertime Business

By Uncategorized

If it seems like winter potholes and summer road repair are on an endless cycle, you’re right. For most pavement repairs, the temperature matters. Asphalt is a little like zucchini. And asphalt plants are like a zucchini garden. Each has a season and they are most productive when the weather is warm. You could even argue there’s an oversupply of both zucchini and road repair work in the hottest seasons….

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Poor Infrastructure States Have Other Problems, Too

By potholes, Uncategorized

How does the quality of infrastructure affect a state economy? How might the condition of roads, bridges, airports, ports, railways, and utilities affect quality of life? Do potholes on our daily commute affect us in other ways? The CNBC cable news channel went about considering these and other factors in 2016, breaking down each condition by state. They considered such things as the percent of deficient bridges, the average commuting time to…

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Emerging Technologies vs. Potholes

By Uncategorized

The Internet of Things, Big Data, and drones can fix pavement before it gets worse. The conditions of our roads tell us we can use all the help we can get. In an age where the Internet of Things (IoT) is being applied to cities – identify leaking water mains, unusually heavy traffic, malfunctioning stoplights, etc. – along with the use of Big Data and data analytics, one would hope that…

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How Road Crews Fix Potholes in Winter

By potholes

There’s more than one way to fix a pothole. Some fixes are temporary, some permanent, some were preventable – and maybe a type of bacteria is the future solution. At midwinter in much of North America, transportation authority road crews are busy with pothole repairs. It’s a time of year when motorists call in a pothole (or use one of the apps, such as See Click Fix) to the city,…

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Are Winter 2017 potholes forming near you?

By potholes

Precipitation and traffic cause most asphalt deterioration. But three things – the month, local weather and road repair budgets – predict when potholes form. The winter of 2016-2017 is doing what winters do: Some areas (including the Northeast) are getting a fair degree of precipitation and freezing temperatures. A few spates of near-zero temperatures have hit the Upper Midwest and Great Plains states, sometimes dipping into the South East and…

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Pothole Damage Claims: Drivers Mostly Not Compensated

By Uncategorized

Collision damages from potholes leave many drivers covering the cost themselves. An insurance claim might work (but probably not). The city of Jackson, Mississippi has its share of potholes. Motorists there are subject to the bumps, dings and dents that happen in almost every city – despite its subtropical location that limits its freeze-thaw cycles. Over a four-and-a-half year period, from early 2012 to latter 2016, the municipality paid out…

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Do Salt and Snowplows Cause Potholes?

By potholes

Salt and snowplows can make potholes worse. But blame time, traffic, temperature and precipitation for most asphalt pavement deterioration. A common misperception is that road salt and snowplows are what cause potholes. Both can be at least partially responsible, but that doesn’t explain why there are potholes in Los Angeles, Miami and Honolulu. Potholes are a product of precipitation, temperature, traffic and time. To be more specific, temperatures fluctuating above…

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The Trump Infrastructure Plan and Potholes

By potholes

Hazardous streets and highways got plenty of attention in the 2016 election. Will the president-elect favor fixes – or exclusively build new roads? In the 2016 election both major party candidates shared at least one idea. They promised, to varying degrees and by different methods, to fix America’s crumbling infrastructure. Potholes – pavement crevices, not just the metaphors – were mentioned by both Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton. Since his…

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Public Works vs. Infrastructure

By potholes, Uncategorized

What’s in a word? Does calling our pavement “infrastructure” instead of “public works” in anyway help fix our potholes? Or is it the other way around? In his recent book, “The Road Taken: The History and Future of America’s Infrastructure,” Duke University engineering professor Henry Petroski discusses (among many things) common misconceptions about the sources of funds for road construction and maintenance. Where it comes to our nation’s roads, bridges and other…

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Adios Pavement, Hello Gravel?

By Uncategorized

More than just a few municipalities are throwing in the towel on bad pavement. Replacing their potholes are gravel and dirt roads – which have their own issues. Two noteworthy American cities about 1400 miles apart are chewing up rutted, potholed pavement and replacing them with dirt and gravel. The reason this is happening boils down to money – or a lack thereof. But others argue it’s just a matter…

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Tollway Successes Hard to Ignore

By potholes, Uncategorized

Are toll roads the future of good pavement? The lessons from Colorado’s E-470 might provide us a clue on how to provide pothole-free roadways. The first highway in the U.S. to use open road tolling – where drivers could skip human-staffed barriers and coin baskets, paying instead electronically – celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2016. It’s Colorado’s E-470 which links the eastern suburbs of Denver and which has successfully maintained its…

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So Many Potholes, So Much Cost

By Pothole Videos, potholes

Potholes are more than a bump in the road, a punch line or a politician’s promises (to fix them). They cost money and lives. Pothole.info just produced a video, posted on YouTube, to illustrate these points. We’ve been reporting on how this damage is caused, what the effects in dollars and injuries are, and how smart pavement management can prevent these problems from ever happening. In video form the public…

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Pothole Dummy Laughs Off 1,100 Hard Hits in Chicago

By Uncategorized

Most drivers avoid potholes wherever and however much possible. But others face the problem head-on. For a living. And for laughs. In April – a prime time for potholes in the wake of late winter/early spring freeze-thaw cycles – a character known as the Pothole Dummy plied the streets of Chicago to see how many potholes he could run over in a five-day stretch. He was successful: 1,110 hits were…

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