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Federal Highway Administration / Publications / Focus / January 2000

Accelerating Infrastructure Innovations

Publication Number: FHWA-RD-00-055
Date: January 2000


A Better Fix for Potholes

A new Tech Brief available from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) describes some of the results of the most extensive pavement maintenance experiment ever conducted--the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) H-106 project. Begun under SHRP and then continued by FHWA's long-term pavement performance (LTPP) program, the project's focus included better understanding the performance and cost-effectiveness of various cold-mix materials and procedures for repairing potholes in asphalt concrete pavements. Starting in 1991, more than 1,250 cold-mix pothole patches were placed at 8 test sites across the United States and Canada. Four different patching techniques-throw and roll, edge seal, semipermanent, and spray injection-were used at the test sites.

The project's key findings include the observation that the throw-and-roll technique proved as effective as the semipermanent procedure in most situations and is more cost-effective, making it a good patching choice. The experiment also found that if quality materials are used, pothole patches can remain in service for several years, even though the patches are often intended as only temporary repairs. Overall, 56 percent of all patches survived until the final round of performance monitoring in 1995.

For more information, contact Bill Bellinger at FHWA, 202-493-3156 (fax: 202-493-3161; email: william.bellinger@fhwa.dot.gov). To order copies of the Tech Brief (Publication No. FHWA-RD-99-202) or the final report on the H-106 project (Publication No. FHWA-RD-98-073), contact the Research and Technology Report Center at 301-577-0906 (fax: 301-577-1421).

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Updated: 06/27/2017
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