Monthly Archives: February 2014

It’s pothole season!

Although the Olympics are being held half a world away, here in Overland Park the Olympic sport of pothole avoidance is the main attraction this week. Of course it’s a known scientific fact that things get bigger when heated and smaller when cooled. A highway is a series of slabs of concrete poured in sections and covered in asphalt. In between each section is an expansion joint. As the air temperature changes, so does the temperature of the road. As the sections grow, the expansion joints in between will bloat on a hot day and contract on a cold day. This constant changing allows water in and weakens the concrete, therefore causing it to break or flake away on the surface. The asphalt breaks away with it. You can see this phenomenon by looking at the edges of any driveway or sidewalk. Most highway potholes are depressions in the road surface located near these expansion joints. The edges are always the weakest part of each section. Sometimes the surface underneath w ... read more

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