(Des Moines) The freeze and thaw cycles this winter have been tough on roads. Bob Younie, of the Iowa Department of Transportation Office of maintenance says the harsh conditions have made pavement cracks worse, leading to potholes. The weather is just one factor in the deterioration of roads and highways, type and volume of traffic are factors as well.
“Heavier vehicles cause more wear and tear, but will also try to design our roads to account for that,” stated Younie. “But at some point in time you only have the funds to build so good of a road, so more traffic means more wear and tear.”
Younie says the age of the pavement plays a role too. He says there is also a phenomenon called “ice-lense” in which moisture freezes on pavement over night, but melts during the day, leading to a temporary bump in the road. He says unfortunately, that is far less common than the pot-hole producing weather Iowa gets in a typical winter.
Iowa Radio Network
January 24, 2014