April 2, 2014
A Winter Of Potholes!
After being bombarded by snowstorms this winter, it seems that everyone is complaining about the many potholes on the roadways. Thousands of tires have been flattened, and rims and suspensions have been damaged. Cars have even fallen into crater-sized potholes! Potholes are formed when precipitation seeps into the pavement causing it to expand and contract, and ultimately crack with each freezing and thawing. Road salt adds to that freeze-and-thaw issue and snow plows scrape and damage the surface of the pavement. Heavy traffic causes further damage to the roadways and potholes form and grow in size. Road crews cannot work fast enough to repair these holes and one must take great care when driving. Although minor in comparison, my farm has pothole issues, as well and my crew has been busy with repairs.
1 For much of the winter, the gravel roads at my farm were covered with compacted snow which turned to ice. When all that ice melted, many potholes formed on the road surface.
2 Potholes form easily on gravel roads when the ground is so wet. When over-sized stones are dislodged at or near the road surface, a small void occurs. The void fills with water and increases in size rapidly under the action of traffic.
3 To repair those potholes, we keep a supply of pea gravel on hand. Here is Pete getting a load of gravel.
4 Dendi used a scoop shovel to empty the water out of the holes.
5 More water pooled in the hole.
6 Dendi scooped out as much water as possible.
7 He then shoveled some gravel into the hole.
8 More gravel
9 And on to fill the next hole
10 Pete was in charge of tamping the gravel.
11 A tamp, also called a tamper, is a tool used to compact granular matter such as crushed stone, dirt, sand, or cinders.
12 The flat heavy head of the tamper works well at compacting the gravel into the pothole.
13 The idea is to make the new gravel even with the road surface.
14 After raising the tamper above the ground, Pete forced the tamp back down to the ground, pressing the face of the tool with force against the gravel.
15 He then used a garden rake to smooth the area out while Dendi blended the new gravel with the old using a lawn rake.
16 Many holes were filled.
17 Moving to a new area
18 All of these patches will soon blend right in with the road surface.
19 So many potholes!
20 Pete was off to get another load of pea gravel.