Category

potholes

Car Tires vs. Potholes

By potholes

Potholes cause costly damage to car wheels, suspension and steering systems. Tire blowouts are most common, but tougher new material offers better protection. Is there such a thing as a pothole-proof car tire? One Finnish company believes it can be done – so much so they are introducing a very resilient product in North America made of the same material as used in bulletproof vests. It comes with an 80,000-mile…

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TRB Report Looks at Deteriorating Interstate Highways

By potholes

Interstate highways get a much higher load of traffic, particularly in the eCommerce era vs. when they were built, causing expensive wear and tear. One solution: end the ban on interstate tolls? Here are a few facts anyone with an interest in better pavement, fewer potholes, and interstate highway travel should note: • Over the last three-and-a-half decades (from 1980-2015), vehicle miles traveled on interstate highways grew by 160 percent….

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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

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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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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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NASA or Potholes?

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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

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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

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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

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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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