Permanent Pothole Repair – In Cold and Water?

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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, it reduces the speed of commerce and takes time away from peoples’ lives. So how can America maintain its $2 trillion-plus investment…read more

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Freeze-Thaw Cycles: Expansions and Contractions Cause Potholes

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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 potholes. The science of freeze-thaw cycles and its effects are fairly simple. When water freezes it expands, technically referred to…read more

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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 single-mode transportation choice – missing out on how Millennials want options that include walking, public transportation and bicycling – things…read more

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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 and parking areas of this cultural capital are festooned with everything from giant blue flowers, tree leaves, ostriches, geese flying…read more

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Potholes, April 2014: Polar Vortex Damage in the American Heartland

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To the surprise of no one, the brutal winter conditions in certain parts of the United States have led to a pothole epidemic in Spring 2014. The successive waves of sub-zero temperatures – including the Polar Vortices of January and February – have certainly done a number on the nation’s highways, roads, streets and alleys.

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