More winter potholes to give motorists, road crews bumpy ride

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — An increase in freeze-thaw cycles this winter will result in a more troublesome pothole season for motorists in the Midwest and Northeastern United States, said Vincent P. Drnevich, a professor of civil engineering at Purdue University.

“This year is particularly bad because we have dipping temperatures and we have snow on the ground,” Drnevich said. “With the prolonged cold that we’ve had, the depth of frost penetration goes fairly deep. Then, when you have a warm spell, even if it’s for a few hours or so, it starts melting from the top down. This creates a bowl full of moist, wet soil that doesn’t have the strength to support the pavement.”

The pothole season is one of the transportation issues examined by the Joint Transportation Research Program, a project of Purdue University and the Indiana Department of Transportation. Since its inception in 1937, the program has conducted research on transportation issues.

The program functions include: basic studies of materials used in highways; facilitating economical design, construction and maintenance of county and state highways; investigating traffic, safety and other issues; providing advanced instruction in the fundamentals of highway engineering and related research; and providing practical experience in construction and maintenance procedures in the use of highway materials.

The Joint Transportation Research Program will host its Purdue Road School, a transportation conference that will draw more than 1,500 local and state transportation officials, national consultants and suppliers to the university’s West Lafayette campus on March 25-27.

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One Response to “More winter potholes to give motorists, road crews bumpy ride”

  1. Charlie K Smith says:

    This needs more than an article placed about it. It has become a serious issue.
    When you are seeing vehicles that are already worn down, driving south on 52 past Wabash, and their cars are bouncing all over the rode not because of swerving to avoid the potholes but because it has affected the steering that severely, something needs done!
    I still promote the idea (jokingly) that the local auto parts stores, as well as repair shops are financially invested with the City’s Street Dept.

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