Potholes can be avoided by spending more on road upkeep

Communities can limit the number of potholes they experience each winter if they spent more money upfront on maintaining roads:

The answer doesn’t lie in a revolutionary new cement or asphalt mix — yet, experts say. Instead, it comes down to a few simple things: quality materials, experienced builders, plus regular road maintenance and reconstruction.

“A lot of things cause potholes, but at the core they’re caused because we don’t do enough road maintenance. We push our roads too far and too hard,” said engineer Don Hillebrand, head of Argonne National Laboratory’s Transportation Research Center…

Avoiding potholes starts with getting it right the first time, said Mohsen Issa, a University of Illinois at Chicago structural and materials engineering professor…

Hillebrand, a former auto executive with Chrysler and Mercedes-Benz, spent time in Germany, where “they view roads as a serious thing and spend much more on road maintenance than we do and expect them to last longer,” he said. Deeper foundations and thicker concrete help preserve German roads, he noted.

Roads seem to be the sort of thing many people don’t pay attention to until things start going wrong. However, as this article notes, roads have to be built well and continually maintained. This requires a good deal of resources that people may not want to spend until something goes wrong. Yet, when things do go wrong, fixes are not necessarily quick or easy. This provides a classic lesson in infrastructure: spending money upfront pays off down the road.

A question: just how many pothole stories can the media run this winter?

0 thoughts on “Potholes can be avoided by spending more on road upkeep

  1. Pingback: Man fills Chicago potholes with mosaic art | Legally Sociable

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