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Who put cake mix in the roads?

greg66_tri_v2.0greg66_tri_v2.0 Posts: 7,172
edited February 2009 in Commuting chat
Riding in today, and to a lesser extent last week, I noticed a *huge* number of freshly burrowed potholes in the roads. These are just little holes, either. They're through the surface, into the cake mix underneath, which is getting shovelled out every time a car goes over them.

A lot of these are now sufficiently deep that if you hit one, you'll be down at least a front wheel and almost certainly on your @rse in the road. So be careful. And be especially careful around puddles, because a lot of the monster holes and surrounding road are covered with standing rain water at the moment. You can spot some by the piles of loose gravel around the puddle, but it's not a failsafe method.
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  • that'll be the ice that will. yup some nasty ones that i've seen and i'm mostly a lapsed commuter in that i tend to though not allways go by car than bike at the moment.
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    That canyon outside Embankment station seems to be growing. It seems keen to link up with the Thames. It was full of water this morning and some chopper in a Golf sent me into it. :evil:
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  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,152
    Greg66 wrote:
    Riding in today, and to a lesser extent last week, I noticed a *huge* number of freshly burrowed potholes in the roads. These are just little holes, either. They're through the surface, into the cake mix underneath, which is getting shovelled out every time a car goes over them.

    A lot of these are now sufficiently deep that if you hit one, you'll be down at least a front wheel and almost certainly on your @rse in the road. So be careful. And be especially careful around puddles, because a lot of the monster holes and surrounding road are covered with standing rain water at the moment. You can spot some by the piles of loose gravel around the puddle, but it's not a failsafe method.

    Ice innit:

    Frost/ice/snow and even rain degrades tarmac surface.
    The binder(tar) in the surface gets very brittle when exposed to extremes of temperature, so frequent frosts/ice and then thawing/rain makes the binder break up, loosening the aggregate and creating more potholes than general ageing of the material.
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  • Round Holborn there are several huge potholes, very nasty especially in the dark when you get squeezed into them by a bus. I'm almost tempted to use the MTB with the sus forks. They are seriously dangerous.
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  • Yeah, I've noticed a few new potholes have appeared in the past 7 weeks. Fortunately I was going slowly enough to avoid them. However some bloke on a motorbike going at quite a lick nearly managed to bounce me into one.

    Why does ice cause them?

    EDIT: thanks Jash...
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,152
    Come on people this is GCSE geography/basic physics.

    Lifted from WiseGeek:

    Sometime around early spring, many roads develop deep divots and pockmarks called potholes. Indeed, certain cities are said to have two seasons - winter and pothole repair. What causes these potholes to form, and why can't they be prevented in the first place? The answer involves both nature and the limitations of road construction.

    Most roadways are built in layers, starting with compacted earth and gravel for drainage. Some older city streets may even have a subsurface of bricks. All of these layers are covered with asphalt, which is a gooey blend of tar, oil byproducts, curatives and aggregate gravel. In an ideal setting, this layer of asphalt repels rainfall and snow, forcing it into drains or the shoulder of the road.

    Potholes form because asphalt road surfaces eventually crack under the heat of the day and the constant stresses of traffic. These cracks allow snow and rainwater to seep into the underlying dirt and gravel. During cold winter nights, this water freezes and expands. Some of the dirt and gravel is pushed out as a result, leaving a hole when the water eventually melts. Drivers continue to drive over these unseen holes, putting even more stress on the thin asphalt layer covering them.

    Eventually, the asphalt layer over these divots collapses, creating the traffic hazards we call potholes. Potholes can cause significant damage to a car's suspension system or tires if the driver fails to avoid them. Potholes can also fill with water, obscuring any other hazards they may contain. Even in places where the air temperature rarely falls below freezing, excessive rainfall or flooding can also cause potholes to form.

    Road maintenance crews have two different forms of repair methods for potholes. These repairs are roughly similar to a dentist using either a temporary or permanent filling material for cavities. During the winter months, potholes receive what is known as a cold winter mix. This is a temporary fix consisting of a soft asphalt poured into the potholes after they have been cleared of debris. A layer of gravel may be added to increase strength and stability, but the potholes are often expected to reappear by spring.

    A more permanent fix for potholes is called a hot summer mix. This combination of roadgrade asphalt and aggregate is designed to last for years, but it can only be applied during dry, warm weather. When road crews use a hot summer mix to repair potholes, they often reroute traffic around the worksite and spend more time preparing the road surface for the patch. The finished layer of new asphalt is usually compacted to match the level of the road, rendering it nearly invisible.
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  • tardingtontardington Posts: 1,379
    Silly idea, but is it possible to have a crack at the Soft Winter Mix yourself? It would be nice to lift a few cones and do a late night repair on some of the worst ones I go past!
  • there is void on the A308 going towards kingston just before hampton that makes the car jolt let alone any two wheeled transports
  • iain_jiain_j Posts: 1,941
    Loads of new potholes or soon-to-be's round my way in the last few weeks. They're censored at fixing them too - I'm no expert but it looks like what they're filling them in with is too soft and/or not compacted down enough. Sometimes within days it's caved in again then a few more days later the "filling" falls apart and it's back to square one.

    Notably outside a new block of shops near my house. Nice glass frontages, no shutters. Main road. Lots of potholes. Lots of chipped, cracked and smashed nice glass frontages :?
  • don_dondon_don Posts: 1,007
    Why does ice cause them?

    EDIT: thanks Jash...

    I was going to say, "water expands when it freezes and breaks up the tarmac", but I think Jash has just about covered it in enough detail :roll:

    A more permanent fix for potholes is called a hot summer mix

    I've got that on CD!
    :P
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