Expert Explains Pothole Problem | NECN
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Expert Explains Pothole Problem



    Dr. Amit Bhasin of the University of Texas at Austin says inconsistent temperatures after heavy snowfall have amplified the process that causes potholes to form. (Published Friday, March 6, 2015)

    Through an extremely snowy winter, New England has been dealing with serious roof concerns, parking problems and countless other issues. But as the snow melts away, a new worry arises - potholes on the roads.

    Massachusetts has already reported thousands of potholes that are still unfixed or in the process of being filled.

    But what causes this problem?

    Dr. Amit Bhasin, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, explained to necn that water from ice and snow slowly gets into cracks in older pavement and expands, causing chunks of asphalt to dislodge.

    "More water gets in and this whole process becomes amplified over time," said Bhasin. "After water gets in and it freezes, then of course, it also turns into ice and expands. And when that happens, these cracks grow much larger at a much faster rate."

    Bhasin said that the inconsistent temperatures expected to fluctuate above and below freezing this weekend could make a bad problem even worse.

    "Last year, we set a record for filling potholes. We're going to do the same this year," said Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. "We've been able to attack a lot of potholes this week, but there's still an awful lot out there, so I encourage people to be very careful as you're driving out there."

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