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Millennials Buying Fewer Cars – But That Doesn’t Mean Abandon the Roads

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A 2014 survey by the WISPIRG Foundation – Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group – found that shifting attitudes about transportation and car ownership are having an effect on where the Millennial generation chooses to live and work.  In effect, the study shows younger adults want transportation options beyond cars and highways – and that Wisconsin is failing in this respect. Instead, the state is building more and bigger highways, a…

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Buy Broken Asphalt? The Pothole Store Has Some to Sell

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Once upon a time there was the Pet Rock. Today, we have crumbled asphalt, the detritus of pavement gone awry, turned into “pothole-pourri” ­– packaged and sold online through a pothole-theme retailer. In case that sounds like an entrepreneurial effort to turn something unpleasant into something a little more fun – and perhaps profitable – then yes, you are correct. Online retailer Dave Stern of Chicago is doing just that…

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Montreal’s “Roadsworth” Art Will Last as Long as the City’s Pavement

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For anyone visiting Montreal, it is difficult to miss the artwork of Roadsworth, a.k.a. Peter Gibson. That’s because the artist’s canvas is largely asphalt and his “gallery” is the streets and parking areas of the city. When Gibson first because painting from stencils, which he designs, it was in support of bicycling, somewhat mimicking the road markings that define bike lanes. But then he took it many steps further: streets…

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Missouri Voters Solidly Reject Road Repair Referendum

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Advocates for road repair and other infrastructure funding in Missouri were handed a solid defeat at the polls on August 5, 2014 with the rejection of a voter referendum that proposed to raise the state sales tax, which would provide funds earmarked for highway construction projects. Voted down by a 59-41 percent margin, the tax would have raised $5 billion for transportation projects over ten years. The Missouri Department of…

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Obama Sounds Alarm on Infrastructure Funding

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Highway Trust Fund Running on Empty Repairs to highways, bridges and transit cost more than the gas tax takes in – and the HTF is set to run dry around August 1, 2014. The Highway Trust Fund (HTF) is running out of money this summer. For the states tasked with infrastructure upkeep this will mean a graduated cutback in money, beginning as early as August 1, according to the U.S….

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Fox News Memphis Features Pothole.info On Air

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The Spring 2014 pothole epidemic is being felt in the mid-South, including Memphis, Tennessee where station WHBQ-TV/Fox 13 brought on Pothole.info reporter Russ Klettke to provide a national perspective on what Memphesians are experiencing – the worst pothole season in recent memory. As seen in the clip, aired May 1, 2014, anchorDarrell Greene takes a keen interest in the city’s current state of road affairs, specifically the potholes. Greene led…

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Pothole History a Good Reference Point in New Jersey

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Where do serious pothole reporters turn to for historical pothole information? Pothole.info, of course! But seriously, Jessica Masulli Reyes cited our site in her article, “Ka-thump! It’s pothole time,” published in the New Jersey Herald (NJHerald.com) on March 21, 2014. She largely references our own deep-dive research into the history of potholes, which stretches back to the Roman Empire when all those roads and aqueducts needed their own infrastructure maintenance…

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How has the “Polar Vortex” affected your roads?

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It might seem that the extremes of weather – the “polar vortex” freeze in the U.S. and Canada during the winter of 2014, or the triple-digit temp heat waves in the American southwest regions in recent summers – might cause the most damage to asphalt and pavement. But in fact it is the oscillations above and below 32 degrees F (0 degrees C) that are the primary culprit in creating…

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New Transportation Secretary Emphasizes Safety, Efficiency and Future-Focus

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In a rare 100-0 vote in the U.S. Senate, new Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx was confirmed in June 2013. The now-former mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina told BetterRoads.com that his top priorities are overall transportation safety, improving efficiency and performance of existing transportation systems and building a system that answers future needs and requirements.

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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

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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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Early Summer Heat Wave Buckling Pavement

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The Weather Channel predicted above-average warmth for the Southwest, Midwest, Great Lakes and Northeast back in April (of 2012). The fact that highway pavement is buckling in all those places from heat – already in June – is proving that forecast to be on the money. That’s because scorching summertime temperatures in the 90s and 100s (Fahrenheit – in Celsius that’s about 32 to 38 degrees C and higher) have come…

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Urban Alleys: New Roles for Old Paths

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The concept of what an alley is varies from place to place. But alleys everywhere are in a state of flux, changing and responding to how people live and businesses operate. Some of these changes are pretty exciting – and have a lot to do with how they are paved, and if the potholes are kept at bay. In Chicago, adherents to the Chicago Plan of 1909 (which was drawn…

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NYC’s The Daily Pothole a Tally of Repair

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Only in New York, kids… only in New York. That is closing line on New York Post columnist Cindy Adams’ usual run down of the weird and famous of the Big Apple. But we might say the same of the NYC Department of Transportation’s clever method for communicating the relentless enterprise of pothole repair. The department sponsors a website called The Daily Pothole, which does what you might expect: it…

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Pavement Maintenance Lagging, Many Roads Returning to Gravel

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For many farmers and residents of rural areas in the U.S., it’s like a step back into time. Due to inadequate road repair funds, several states and counties across America are converting once-paved roads back to gravel. According to conditions reported in The Wall Street Journal in 2010, the price of petroleum has a lot to do with it. Asphalt is made with aggregate mixed with oil byproducts. With the…

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Would Heavier Trucks Cause More Potholes?

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With an untold number of potholes on American highways, roads and streets, there are concerns that a pending piece of federal legislation might add to the count. The bill is H.R. 763, the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act, which would allow an increase in single-vehicle truck weights from the current limit of 80,000 pounds to 97,000 pounds. At first glance, this seems to be a proposal to place greater strains…

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Hot, Cold and Recycled: Different Asphalts for Different Conditions

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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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Keep on Truckin’? Roads Pay the Price

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Population growth includes more hauling by truck. And it’s ripping our roads apart. America now has 308 million people, up from 200 million in 1968 and 150 million in 1950 – which was about the time we started building most of our roads. This growth is about more than just people driving around in cars. It’s about all our things – the stuff that goes into making the stuff, and…

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