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Houston Matters

How Do Potholes Happen?

Houston Matters learns about the science behind the formation of potholes on our streets and highways, and we learn how the city deals with repairing them.



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There are potholes, and then there are potholes. Last month (Dec. 19, 2017), a pothole the size of a couch opened up on U.S. 59, causing a seven-vehicle accident and major traffic delays. How does that happen?

Houston Matters learns about the science behind the formation of such large-scale holes on streets and highways from Roberto Ballerini, professor of civil engineering at the University of Houston and David Newcomb, Senior Research Engineer at the Texas A&M, Transportation Institute.

Then, we discuss the state of efforts to reduce potholes – both large and small – on Houston streets, something Mayor Sylvester Turner focused on heavily in the early months of his administration. Larius Hassen from the City of Houston Public Works Department joins us.

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