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Road Deterioration Is More Than Just a Pothole

By Dr. Robert L. Gordon | 02/07/2016 | 9:21 PM

ThinkstockPhotos-505822534 (2)
By Brenda Rector, Faculty Member, Transportation and Logistics Management at American Public University

Winter is here, and so is pothole season. When roads are frozen and flooded, the chances of the pavement breaking open are exponentially higher. The issue worsens when roads are allowed to deteriorate.

The Mississippi River is swelling to record levels and there have been many mandatory evacuations ordered. During the second week of January, winter’s nasty side has finally come the eastern United States after a very mild start to winter.

Why should drivers care about flooding or winter weather when taking to the road? A pothole can cause hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage. The website www.pothole.info details how the El Niño weather pattern of 2016 is causing havoc with many states' road maintenance budgets. Among the facts listed, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) believes it would cost 2.7 trillion dollars to repair the current issues with the highway and bridge infrastructure.

The community, as a whole, has gotten frustrated with the lack of concern and the lack of money to repair potholes and other infrastructure issues. In some communities, local news stations offer special call in numbers for consumers to report potholes and other road issues. Some citizens in money-challenged states have made repairs to streets themselves.

Potholes are not just a U.S. citizen problem. Potholes cost the trucking industry millions of dollars each year. After a semi-tractor hits a deep pothole, the firm can pay an estimate of nearly a thousand dollars for realignment of the drive wheels of the tractor.

We have seen some movement in legislature in recognition of the pothole problem. In North Carolina, lawmakers have recently vowed to fix any driver-reported pothole within 48 hours of reporting. It will be nice to see how many states will follow suit. It would save the trucking industry millions of dollars of repairs and billions in lost employee downtime and revenues.    

About the Author

Brenda Rector is an adjunct professor for the Transportation and Logistics Management Program of American Public University. She has been in the military and civilian transportation and logistics industry for nearly 15 years. Professor Rector is in the dissertation phase of her doctorate in organizational management and is set to have her doctorate later this year.



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About Dr. Robert Lee Gordon

Dr. Robert Lee Gordon

Dr. Robert Lee Gordon is program director of the Reverse Logistics department at American Public University. Dr. Gordon has over twenty-five years of professional experience in supply chain management and human resources. He holds a Doctorate of Management and Organizational Leadership and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, as well earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from UCLA. Dr. Gordon has spent more than 14 years teaching reverse logistics, transportation, project management, and human resources. He has published articles on reverse logistics; supply chain management; project management; human resources; education, and complexity. He has also published four books on Reverse Logistics Management; Complexity and Project Management; Virtual Project Management Organizations, and Successful Program Management..

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