The Coming Pothole Crisis and Asphalt Anxiety

James Haney of LICA (Long Island Contractors Association) checks out the stealth potholes that is the next winter woe
James Haney of LICA (Long Island Contractors Association) checks out the stealth potholes that is the next winter woe

(Hauppauge, New York) - The Long Island Contractors’ Association (LICA) is warning that if the recent freeze/thaw/freeze cycle of winter weather continues at its current pace the amount of asphalt required to fix potholes that are already exploding along the region’s roads will be nothing less than historic.

LICA Executive Director Marc Herbst stated, “During a traditional season Long Island uses approximately 5000 tons of asphalt to repair its roads after a winter pounding. We are already well past the point of calling this winter `traditional’ and the enormous temperature swings we have experienced are already creating a literal explosion of potholes. We can project the need for 8000 tons of asphalt to meet the needs of municipalities faced with some kind of damage along virtually every street and it may go to 10,000 tons by the end of the season.”

Herbst notes that the ruinous thaw and freeze allows for a constant runoff of water into the smallest cracks in the street only to have it expand when the temperature drops below freezing. “It is Mother Nature’s version of a jack hammer and we have many weeks to go before this cycle comes to an end.”

Herbst said asphalt plants will need to work working on a seven day a week basis to meet the need of a region whose roads are cratering. “There is much less plant capacity than there was several years ago because the amount of infrastructure projects has dropped dramatically. Now, with a pending pothole crisis, there will be a priority rush on product and not every municipality is going to have its order fulfilled. Some stretches of road are simply going to have to wait.”

Potholes create an average of $600 worth of repairs for drivers according to published reports while some have been so destructive they have caused drivers to lose control of their vehicles if going at a high rate of speed. 


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