PennDOT Experiments With Materials That Resist Potholes After Brutal Winter

By Kim Glovas

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — This winter has left many roads damaged by potholes. But PennDOT has been experimenting with some new materials that resist potholes to some extent.

Potholes are caused by macadam freezing and thawing, then cracking. But Leslie McCarthy, assistant professor of engineering at Villanova University, says tests are underway on new materials which resist contraction.

“That way they can resist the intrusion of water, things like synthetic fibers can be added to asphalt mix, lime could be added to asphalt mix, there are different things we can do. The key though is placing it hot.”

According to Asphalt Pavement Magazine, the fiber reinforced hot mix creates a waterproof skin which resists cracking.

PennDOT has done trials on sections of highway in Lancaster and Allegheny counties. No word on when it will get to the Philadelphia area.

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