The Hard-Hitting Truth About Potholes


Growing up in Pennsylvania, potholes have become a common theme among traveling. I pass by them every single day. As a young driver, every time I try to avoid a pothole, I end up going straight through it. The damages haven’t made my parents so happy. Potholes form easily in fluctuating temperatures, which is the definition of Pennsylvania’s climate.

Most roads are made of asphalt. While this material is durable, asphalt can become deteriorated over time. Roads with heavy traffic tend to crack from excessive vehicle weight. Rainwater filters into these small cracks on the pavement. As you may know, water expands when frozen. Therefore, fluctuating temperatures makes water expand along with the cracks. Eventually, the enlarged cracks create a cavity, which weakens the structure of the pavement. When a heavy vehicle goes over the cavity, the pavement collapses and creates a pothole.

The biggest issue with pothole formation is vehicular damage. Driving through a pothole is jarring to the tires, causing them to lose air, or even blow out. An impact with a sharp angle bends the rim of the wheel, which makes it roll abrasively. A pothole can also mis-align the suspension and steering components of a vehicle. These damages add up each time a pothole is ran over. According to TRIP, a national transportation research group, “driving on deteriorated roads costs the average urban drivers $377 annually.”

Not only do potholes cost residents, but they cost local municipalities as well. Township budgets for road maintenance are limited. Fixing several potholes is expensive. However, many townships have pothole hotlines readily available on their respective websites. Here, the township requests the exact location of the pothole, your name, and your telephone number. After that, your work is done!

  • One of the best ways to prevent potholes is to be aware of the road structure. Some helpful ways to avoid road damage are:
  • Surveying pavement for weak spots and risk factors
  • Installing proper drainage for water runoff
  • Structuring roadways in an insightful manner
  • Sealing pavement cracks before becoming cavities

CEDARVILLE Engineering Group, LLC (CEG) works closely with local municipalities to ensure road safety for all residents. Call us at 610-705-4500 or email to find out more.

By: J. Auerbach

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Address: CEDARVILLE Engineering Group, LLC 159 E. High Street, Suite 500 Pottstown, PA 19464 Phone: 610-705-4500 Fax: 610-705-4900

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CEDARVILLE Engineering Group, LLC (CEG)
159 E. High Street, Suite 500, Pottstown, PA 19464
P:610-705-4500 F: 610-705-4900
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