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pothole.info

No Spare Tires and Lots of Potholes

By Uncategorized

Tire inflator kits are rapidly replacing the tire in the trunk. They offer some advantages but provide some of their own bumps in the road. It’s never a fun surprise when your car hits a pothole and you get a flat tire. In fact, “surprise” is quite likely not the first word to come out of your mouth. Even worse, there might be a second discovery for you when you…

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Poor Pavement Hits Lower-Income Americans Hard

By Uncategorized

Damages to cars from potholes can cost more than most households have on hand for emergencies. The cost of slow traffic and accidents may be even greater. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), motorists are shelling out $6.4 billion per year in car repairs due to potholes. That’s just to take care of flat tires, bent rims, poor alignments, damaged shocks and struts, cracked catalytic converters – and the…

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A Road Built to Be Bad

By Uncategorized

Ford intentionally built a very nasty stretch of pavement to test vehicles under pothole conditions. It’s a success – but is that a good thing? This just in from the Department of Irony: Ford Motor Company built a road that is intentionally potholed. What’s more, it’s 50 miles in length and actually is designed to replicate how cars meet carnage from bad pavement in 25 different countries. The purposefully bad…

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NASA or Potholes?

By potholes

It isn’t necessary to choose between space exploration and fixing the roads, bridges and tunnels. For now, the bumps in the road cost drivers the most. Donald Trump, the 2016 presidential campaign hopeful, has drawn a line in the asphalt on where he thinks America should be investing: That would be fixing potholes in the streets, not sending rockets into space. The real estate mogul made these comments in 2015 to…

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El Niño Winter of 2016 Creating Potholes Everywhere

By potholes

The phenomenon is altering weather patterns across the U.S. – placing new burdens on highway maintenance crews and budgets in dozens of states. Much as meteorologists predicted, the el niño winter of 2015-2016 is turning into a monster. The immediate effects of heavy rain and flip-flopped temperatures – it was warmer in Boston (69 degrees F) and New York City (72 degrees F) on Christmas Day 2015 than in many…

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Bikers and Potholes: Injuries and costly litigation

By potholes

Cyclists just want to ride, but they can’t if injured by broken pavement. Cities, states and railroad companies often pay out large settlements to victims. As a veteran urban bicyclist, plying the streets of Chicago on two wheels in all kinds of weather since the early 1980s, I thought I was invincible. I’m as skilled at avoiding bad pavement as I am bad drivers. I know rough pavement generally occurs in…

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How The Hamilton Project Proposes Fixing U.S. Infrastructure Funding

By potholes

It’s not just about raising the gas tax – it’s that (by a fluctuating formula), but by other means as well. There’s more than one way to fill a pothole. While the U.S. Congress wrangles with reauthorizing spending on the Highway Trust Fund on an annual basis – making up for the shortfall in gas tax receipts – there are other ideas on how to maintain and improve the nation’s…

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Pothole Pylons Warn Drivers on Quebec’s James Bay Road

By potholes

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….

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Panama’s Tweeting Potholes

By potholes

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…

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Pothole Danger is Real, Far Worse Than Flat Tires

By potholes, Uncategorized

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…

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Oregon’s OReGO Miles-Driven Tracker Test Underway

By potholes

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….

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Fix Existing Roads vs. Build New: All Positions Considered

By Uncategorized

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…

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Texas Floods Lead to Texas-Size Potholes

By Uncategorized

Editor’s Note: The flooding associated with Hurricane Harvey in August 2017 far exceeded the conditions described in this 2015 story. The net effects on pavement quality are tertiary to the death and destruction of this storm, but the severe degree of potholes and other infrastructure deterioration will undoubtedly plague the region and impair rebuilding efforts in the months and years to come.   In late May 2015 Texas received enough rainfall…

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California rectifies recession-neglected road repairs

By potholes

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…

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Pothole Primer: How to avoid and recognize car damage

By Uncategorized

To mark the first World Pothole Day (March 25, 2015), Pothole.info shares with readers two important categories of advice: How to prevent pothole damage on vehicles, and to recognize damage that needs to be fixed. But this is about more than car damage – one-third of the 33,000 traffic deaths in the U.S. each year can be attributed in part to poor road conditions. For those lucky enough to escape…

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UK’s Mr. Pothole a Vivid Campaigner

By Uncategorized

American motorists should know that pothole problems are not limited to the United States. Pavement is pavement, all over the world, as well as the inevitable potholes. Enough so that in the United Kingdom there is Mr. Pothole, who self describes as “the National Pothole Campaigner in the UK.” Mr. Pothole (a.k.a. Mark Morrell) tours the country, works his messages through social media, and is an organizer of National Pothole…

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Will Michigan Voters Decide to Pay More for Infrastructure?

By Uncategorized

On May 5, 2015 voters in the state of Michigan will have the opportunity to raise their taxes – all in the interest of better roads, bridges and public transport. And unlike most referenda that fail at this, advocates for the measure believe this may be the exception. Proposal 1 is a binding vote to amend the state constitution, adding $1.25 billion per year for state and local road maintenance…

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“Infrastructure – if anything exciting happens, we’ve done it wrong.”

By Uncategorized

Sometimes humor is the best teacher. So thanks to HBO-TV’s John Oliver, host of the comedy show “Last Week Tonight,” the topic of infrastructure may finally find some students. As this March 2015 clip explains, via Oliver’s satirical quips, infrastructure isn’t sexy. Especially the repair part, where potholes are filled and cracked bridge buttresses are repaired. These are the essential public works projects that don’t get ribbon cuttings. Consequently, we…

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Newest Pothole Repair Technologies at Work in 2015

By Uncategorized

With the highly anticipated arrival of Spring 2015 almost upon us, most of the U.S. east of the Rocky Mountains will welcome warmer temperatures, grass instead of snow, and streets filled with potholes. Well, perhaps the potholes will not be welcome. But as sure as the sun will shine, there will be many, many potholes wherever there has been precipitation, freezing temperatures and vehicular traffic. Because those things are precisely…

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Boston Digs Out – To Find Potholes

By Uncategorized

With an accumulation of almost eight feet of snow so far in the winter of 2014-2015, the City of Boston is still trying to figure out how to make streets and public transportation systems operable. But the brutal, heavy-precipitation winter of 2015 in Massachusetts and much of the rest of New England will have an after-effect that may well last into the warmer, even summer months. Without question, there will…

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A Gas Tax Isn’t the Only Way to Fund Infrastructure

By Uncategorized

The semi-annual discussions on America’s infrastructure spending – including how to fix potholes, as well as bridges, tunnels, ports and public transportation – should be studied in economics classes everywhere. It has everything: supply and demand, the multiplier effect of government spending, the tradeoff of taxation against consumption, international trade/fossil fuel pricing and, of course, politics. And here we are in the first quarter of 2015, where there is lively…

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Why Are Most Wintertime Pothole “Repairs” Temporary?

By Uncategorized

With freeze-thaw conditions prevalent across much of the country, American motorists may wonder why potholes often linger until spring. The reasons are a combination of physics and economics. First, it helps to understand the consequences. In winter and early spring, drivers everywhere are plagued with blown tires, cracked wheel rims and alignment issues that happen when they drive into one of the millions of potholes that occur in both asphalt…

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California Pavement: Drought, Flood Threats and Green Solutions

By Uncategorized

The heavy rains on the West Coast in mid-December 2014 presented a mixed bag for the millions of people who live and work there. On one hand, the ample precipitation may signal the end of a devastating three-year drought. But the damage incurred by flooding and mudslides – with incidences of pavement ripped up by flows of water and earth – means it was a destructive event as well. Facts…

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Do Commuter Tax Benefits and Low Gas Taxes Create More Potholes?

By Uncategorized

It’s more than just a pun to say that federal policies toward transportation, road maintenance and conservation are moving targets. As we head into 2015, there are many variables regarding parking subsidies and gas taxes that are at odds with each other. At the top of the news is the price of gas, dipping below $2.00/gallon at mid-December 2014in some locales with a national average around $2.75/gallon. For most of…

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Less Driving = Stop Building New Roads?

By Uncategorized

A national research organization argues that automotive trends – vehicle miles traveled per capita, car ownership rates and drivers licenses – are in recession, and that plans to build new highways should be scrapped. Instead, researchers recommend repairing the roads we have, fill the potholes and support alternative means of transportation. Are they right? The answer might be as mixed as the United States is diverse. Indeed, as a group…

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