The Department of Public Works recently stated, “Through RebuildIndy, we’ve been able to resurface a lot of city streets, so the cracks aren’t as prevalent. But we’ll definitely see an increase in reports, and we’ll tackle them as they come in.” They were referencing the extreme weather changes that central Indiana will be experiencing this week and the devastating effects those changes can have on our roads.
RebuildIndy is an initiative put in place by Mayor Ballard that looks to invest in infrastructure to restore Indianapolis streets, sidewalks, and bridges, and the weather conditions will be keeping them busy in the coming weeks. This week will not only see rain but also temperatures that will rise into the mid 60s before diving sharply into below freezing temperatures. This consistent freezing and thawing widens cracks and creates large potholes in Indiana roads. The city has already filled 100 potholes this year alone.
The damaged roads aren’t just an expense to taxpayers; they can do a lot of damage to your vehicle as well. $4.8 billion is spent in the U.S. each year to repair vehicles after they have a run-in with a pothole. Potholes can also have devastating effects on pedestrians, too. Cars that swerve to avoid potholes can hit pedestrians as they walk along the road, causing serious injuries or even taking lives.
New technology is currently being developed by researchers at Purdue University that is making more durable concrete mixtures that is already being used on aging Indiana bridges. According to a Purdue professor, “What this allows us to do is reduce some of those cracks and make it harder for water to get into the system.”
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Source. The Indy Channel, ‘http://www.theindychannel.com/news/local-news/extreme-weather-this-week-expected-to-take-major-toll-on-indiana-roads,’ Chris Proffitt, January 28, 2013.
Source. Indy.gov, ‘http://www.indy.gov/eGov/City/DPW/RebuildIndy/Pages/RebuildIndyHome.aspx,’ 2013.