Building a Better Pothole

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With spring around the corner, roads and freeways everywhere are sure to be littered with winter’s potholes, but what if those potholes were easier to avoid?

That’s the idea behind the Safe Street Initiative, dreamed up by students at Milan Polytechnic University in Italy. Their plan is to start at the manufacturing stage and make the lower layer of road asphalt a bright color, such as yellow or orange, so that when the surface breaks, the potholes become easily spotted wounds in the road surface.

The team will test the idea later this year in the small Italian town of Rho, just outside Milan, to see if “the project is viable and cost effective,” according to one of the students. This would likely mean if the cost and trouble of coloring the lower asphalt actually prevents damage to cars on the road (or perhaps allows municipalities to skimp on repairs a bit longer).

British pothole experts — yes, there is such a thing — are skeptical, saying the solution is to prevent potholes in the first place, not just make them more visible.

Designer Potholes (Wheels)