Pothole Prevention and Innovative Repair


Debaroti Ghosh, Mugur Turos, Marcella Hartman, Rose Milavitz, Jia-Liang Le, Mihai Marasteanu

April 2018

Report no. MnDOT 2018-14

Pothole repairs continue to be a major maintenance problem for many highway agencies. There is a critical need for finding long-lasting, cost-effective materials and construction technologies for repairing potholes. This research effort investigates critical components associated with pothole formation and pothole repair and proposes solutions to reduce the occurrence of potholes and increase the durability of pothole repairs. The components include investigating and documenting pavement preservation activities, experimental work on traditional repair materials as well as innovative materials and technologies for pothole repairs, stress analysis of pothole repairs to identify whether certain geometric configurations are more beneficial than others, evaluating cost analyses to determine the effectiveness of various repair methods. A number of conclusions and recommendations were made. Potholes are mainly caused by the delayed response to timely fixing common pavement distresses. The state of Minnesota has a number of preservation strategies that are available and have been successfully used. Recommendations are made to improve these strategies using documents made available as part of new Every Day Counts, EDC-4, initiative. Currently, there are no required specifications for patching materials. Mechanical testing can be used to select patching materials based on the estimated durability of the pothole repair, such as short-, medium-, and longterm. A number of new materials and technologies are available for more durable solutions for winter pothole repairs, however, they require additional heat source and are more expensive.

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