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The science behind potholes

How potholes form this time of year
Posted at 7:27 AM, Feb 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-24 07:41:12-05

GRAND RAPIDS — While Spring brings the warmer temperatures so many of us have missed it also bring something a little annoying on the roads... potholes.

Here is the step-by-step process of the science of how potholes form.

1. Water seeps through the cracks in the road which collects underneath and softens the road base
2. Once Winter arrives and that water freezes, it expands and forces the pavement upwards
3. Traffic then adds extra stress on the weak spots in the pavement
4. Once Spring starts to arrive with drier and warmer weather, that water dissipates leaving a hole under the pavement
5. The weight then of passing cars causes the road to collapse into that hole
6. The pothole is formed where the road collapsed and the continuous traffic expands the hole over time

The science behind potholes which can be so damaging cars and roadways.