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Work-From-Home: Traffic Down, Potholes Up?

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Where people work may be permanently affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. What does that mean for commuters, the roads they travel – and pothole repairs? In February 2020 the TRIP organization, a surface transportation research non-profit, released a study that found traffic in northern Virginia costs commuting drivers $2,600 per year due to congestion, vehicle maintenance from rough pavement, and crashes. The cumulative costs of these to all drivers in…

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Vehicle-Mounted Sensors See and Feel Potholes

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Tactile Mobility is building a platform for cars and trucks to monitor road quality. Motorists, fleets, and DOTs to get real-time data on bumps in the road. Where it comes to the future of surface transportation – the ways and means to travel and transport on roads, streets and highways – it’s clear that engineers and technologists are working overtime. So many innovations are afoot: roads with embedded solar panels…

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Do Rough Roads Hurt Fuel Efficiency?

By Uncategorized

This data suggests that, given how road quality affects all vehicles – regardless of whether they are traditional internal combustion engines or electric driven – that ensuring better pavement, including that which is pothole-free, offers an environmental as well as financial benefit to motorists and commercial freight haulers.

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Pothole Detection Via Smartphone Crowdsourcing

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LVL5’s “Pavdar” system – recording smartphone video from dashboards – may be the future of pothole detection. Already, it knows Michigan roads are the worst. It’s very hard to get a national, state or even citywide count of potholes on our streets and highways. Which is problematic in two ways: To repair them, first you have to know where they are. Second, to budget for those repairs, you have to…

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Michigan Boy Fills Potholes on His Own

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Monte Scott is just the latest to fill those craters with his own initiative. Meanwhile, the state’s governor and legislature mull a huge gas tax increase. When both his mother and grandmother got flat tires on their cars from potholes on their street in late March, 12-year-old Monte Scott took matters into his own hands. He got a shovel, a barrel (without wheels) and some dirt, then filled in a…

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Spring 2019 Pothole Report: It’s Nasty Out There

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This is the time of year when potholes naturally plague driving everywhere. After some crazy weather patterns, 2019 is turning out to be a doozie, according to NPR and many tweets. As winter turns to spring, roads turn to battlefields – and the Spring of 2019 is no exception. After a relatively mild early winter the majority of America’s Midwest and Northeast was dealt with the “bomb cyclone” in March…

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World of Asphalt Conference Had Rough Patches

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The conference itself, held in Indianapolis, achieved its goals. But attendees noticed something before they got to the convention center: Lots of potholes. Every two years the asphalt industry gathers for the “World of Asphalt Show & Conference,” a confab of more than 450 of the paving industry’s leading manufacturers and service providers. The convention is always held in a North American city, providing a chance for people in the…

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Can Blockchain Fix Potholes?

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The technology is about far more than cryptocurrency. The founders of PotholeCoin see a future where motorists can join up to pay for their own pothole repairs. The advance of digital technologies has been promising to fix potholes and other infrastructure problems (e.g., graffiti) for the past decade. But the technologies like Boston’s StreetBump and SeeClickFix are primarily about identifying where the potholes are – and how much they annoy…

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Domino’s Pizza Now Delivering Pothole Fixes

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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

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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?

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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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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

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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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