Potholes and asphalt

OK, first of all, this is not going to be the “where does the pothole stuff go?” question. It’s better! :slight_smile:

What I’d like to know is: Why don’t rolling road crews ever tamp down the asphalt they dump in the little potholes?

All I’ve ever seen them do is Sloppily throw a shovel full of the stuff somewhere in the direction of the hole and expect you (in your nice shiny new car) to drive over it and basically make the asphalt pile explode!

It would only take an extra second to pat it down. Tap. There! All done!

Needless to say I’m probably biased towards any answer an actual construction worker would give unless it’s laziness. :wink:

Because if they made it level, it’d soon be compressed so that the pothole would reappear, although not as deep.

The crew is basically putting excess in the hole. Then traffic will press it in until it’s level, and the excess will fill all the nooks and crannies of the original pothole.

What you are probably seeing is only a temporary “cold” patch. No ammount of tamping or packing is going to make any real difference. They’re only meant to last for a month or two (why it then takes a year or more to do a permanent repair is another topic).

For a permanent repair, a square area, about a foot larger than the hole is cut out of the roadway, and new, hot ashpalt is poured in and properly finished. When done correctly, the repair is hard to detect.

"It would only take an extra second to pat it down. Tap. There! All done! "

A 500 pound rubber sledge hammer traveling at 35 miles an hour (AKA a car tire) probably does a better job of tamping things down than can be achieved with a hand shovel.