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Yes, YOU Can Fix a Potholed Driveway

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Fixing potholes in an asphalt or concrete driveway might seem hard, but it’s not. Even better, it does not require exotic equipment.   For this post, we take a break from the ongoing pothole battle in the streets to discuss a problem that is completely under your control, the potholes in your driveway.   A do-it-yourself advice website called Lifehacker.com recently fielded a question from a homeowner who wants to…

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Cities Turn Spring 2013 Pothole Repair into a Special Event

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Citizen reporting becoming a seasonal rite   Owing perhaps to a certain mentality that says “fix it now,” several American cities are approaching pothole repair in the spring of 2013 as a special event. Maybe it’s just another version of spring cleaning. Or, perhaps it is due to the fact that the mild winter of 2011-2012 allowed some reprieve with the return of harsher snow, rain and freeze-thaw cycle conditions…

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Edmonton, Alberta Potholes Cost $12 Million Extra in 2013

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Edmonton, Alberta (Canada) is the most northerly city in the Americas with a metropolitan population of more than one million people. So perhaps the fact that it has 600,000 potholes waiting to be fixed in the spring of 2013 should be no surprise. But the City of Edmonton Roadway Maintenance Director, Bob Dunford, told the Edmonton CTV News that 2013 was extraordinary. “We never broke the 600,000 mark. We hit…

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Potholes As Art – in Russia and the U.S.

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In the U.S. and elsewhere, the way to get public officials’ attention to municipal woes such as potholes, broken streetlamps and playgrounds in disrepair is quite modern: phone apps such as SeeClickFix (nationwide),Street Bump (Boston), San Diego 311send the complaint directly to the government agency in charge. Almost everywhere as well, the standard 3-1-1 phoneline is in operation, albeit without the benefit of GPS or smartphone camera shots.

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LaHood Takes Parting Shots at Infrastructure Funding

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It’s been a busy couple of weeks in the realm of infrastructure. Or, at least insofar as talking about infrastructure.   It began with outgoing Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, the former Republican congressman from Illinois serving in the Obama administration since 2009. In a February 6 interview with Diane Rehm, the syndicated National Public Radio host (based out of WAMU radio in Washington, DC), LaHood spoke about his concerns regarding…

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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…

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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…

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WINTER 2011 – EXTRAORDINARY POTHOLES

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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,…

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Complex Federal Approaches to Infrastructure Outlined in HuffPost Article

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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.

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OKC Potholes: A Dozen Crews at Work All Year

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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Milder Winter, Fewer Potholes?

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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,…

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Winter 2011-2012 in the Central U.S. – and the Potholes to Come

By Uncategorized

As winter settles in, it is anyone’s guess as to whether the weather will meet expectations. But as sure as there will be cold, snow, sleet and eventually, a thaw, there is one prediction that is a safe bet: there will be potholes. A severe period of cold and snow is predicted for the upper Midwest, including storms expected to hit Chicago, Indianapolis, Omaha, Nebraska and of course Buffalo, New…

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Corrugated Street: The Problem with Railroad Track Level Crossings

By Uncategorized

In cities, counties and rural areas where roads have recently received a nice, smooth resurfacing of clean asphalt, one problem for motorists still remains. It’s rough railroad crossings, the jarring experience of passing over the damaging, uneven surfaces immediately surrounding railway lines. Whether that crossing is at-grade or slightly elevated, it appears to be a cruel joke. The  car or truck might be traveling at a good clip, with no…

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October Snowstorm an Early Warning – About Potholes

By Uncategorized

The record level of snowfall along the eastern corridor at the end of October 2011 caused enough damage on its own. Millions of homes and businesses went without electrical power as a result of downed power lines. As fall turns into winter, we’re reminded that where nature intersects with civilization, man-made things have a tendency to fall apart. This snowstorm did the region the disfavor of arriving while the leaves…

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Salem, Ohio Pothole Once Famous, Now Fixed

By Uncategorized

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…

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Driving Tips to Avoid Potholes – And Rising Tire Prices

By Uncategorized

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…

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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”…

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Polymer-Modified Asphalt a “Game Changer” in Cold, Hot and Wet Conditions

By Uncategorized

In the widening gulf between municipal budgets and road pavement quality, is there any hope the roads will get fixed? Every mayor in America – and Canada and much of the rest of the world – gets elected on a promise to fix potholes. But when elected officials settle into the executive suite they often find out they have about 30 cents available for every dollar needed to fix those…

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