Durable Pothole Repairs

POTHOLE is a project being undertaken for ERA–NET ROAD by a consortium led by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute of Highway and Railroad Engineering, Department Highway Construction Technology from Germany. The other partners are:

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Danish Road Directorate (DRD) from Denmark;

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Forum of European National Highway Research Laboratories (FEHRL) from Belgium;

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Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) from the United Kingdom;

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University of Zilina (UNIZA) from Slovakia;

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University of Twente (UT) from the Netherlands; and

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Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute (ZAG) from Slovenia.

The main objective of the project is to address the need of road agencies for durable construction and maintenance methods for the repair of damage which occur after hard winters due to repeated freeze–thaw cycles. All European countries are faced with the problem of potholes and how to repair them. Many approaches just deal with repair methods which are durable only on a short-term base and therefore are not cost-effective.

Immense economic loss results from the damage to the pavement, the increasing numbers of crashes and the injuries and deaths that are caused by potholes. This cost requires an improvement in the materials, methods and techniques that are used for repair of potholes. Moreover, it is desirable to give road agencies some kind of help to deal with these problems.

In this project, typical as well as innovative approaches that target the medium- or long-term repair of potholes are being studied. A catalogue of tests, evaluation methods and experiences based on existing European Standards will be provided to give road agencies an overview of the options for the repair of potholes. Furthermore, testing techniques and materials from existing trial sites will be used to determine which laboratory tests can be, or should be, used to be able to determine which laboratory tests are appropriate for studying pothole repair materials.

The gained knowledge, including the European experiences, will be used to develop guidelines for road agencies to enhance their maintenance programmes, allowing them to select repair techniques and materials with a durability corresponding to the estimated lifetime of the existing pavement. The great advantage of this approach is the cooporation of seven countries which ensures that many views and experiences throughout Europe are considered.

There are seven Work Packages in the project plan as follows:

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WP 1 – Definition of the term “pothole”

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WP 2 – Selection of tests and evaluation methods for use in the laboratory and in situ

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WP 3 – Study of existing standards, techniques, materials and experience with them on the European Market

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WP 4 – Evaluation of techniques and materials from existing trial sites

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WP 5 – Laboratory testing of selected materials

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WP 6 – Life Cycle Cost and Benefit Analysis (LCCBA)

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WP 7 – Development of guidelines including catalogues of materials – Final Report