The Problem With Potholes

Posted by on Saturday, March 18, 2017

Potholes are a common problem in Newfoundland and Labrador. "Pothole Season" is typically during the spring season. This is mainly due to the almost daily thaw and freeze that we experience.

Some jurisdictions offer websites or mobile apps for pothole-reporting. These allow citizens to report potholes and other road hazards, optionally including a photograph and GPS coordinates.

It is estimated there are 55 million potholes in the United States.

The self-proclaimed pothole capital, Edmonton, Canada reportedly spends $4.8 million on 450,000 potholes annually, as of 2015.

Potholes may result from four main causes:
1. Insufficient pavement thickness to support traffic during freeze/thaw periods without localized failures
2. Insufficient drainage
3. Failures at utility trenches and castings (manhole and drain casings)
4. Pavement defects and cracks left unmaintained and unsealed so as to admit moisture and compromise the structural integrity of the pavement

A pothole is caused primarily by failure in asphalt pavement due to the presence of water in the underlying soil structure and the presence of traffic passing over the affected area.

Introduction of water to the underlying soil structure first weakens the supporting soil. Traffic then fatigues and breaks the poorly supported asphalt surface in the affected area.

Continued traffic action ejects both asphalt and the underlying soil material to create a hole in the pavement.

In a poll conducted by Wx Centre we found that over 90% of respondents believe the municipal governments should be forced to pay for damage cause by unmarked potholes. What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

The Team

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