Why Asphalt and Pothole Repairs are a Summertime Business

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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. This may be news to people who don’t pay attention to roads, road building and pothole remediation. But it’s true:…read more

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Poor Infrastructure States Have Other Problems, Too

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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 work, and what maintenance of water systems in each state would cost over the next 20 years. By their methodology,…read more

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Emerging Technologies vs. Potholes

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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 prevention and expeditious repair of potholes would be among the net improvements from these emerging technologies. To some extent it…read more

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Pothole Damage Claims: Drivers Mostly Not Compensated

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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 $170,000 to owners of vehicles that suffered damage from potholes, utility cuts and sinkholes on the state capital’s streets. From a…read more

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Public Works vs. Infrastructure

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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 components of the physical makeup of civilization, it isn’t always clear what level of government – city, state or federal…read more

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