It can depend on a number of factors. In cold regions of the world, it is often the freeze-thaw pattern of winter that causes pot holes. Moisture will enter small cracks in the pavement during the thaw, and once temperatures drop to freezing, that moisture then expands causing larger cracks, and eventually potholes to form. The picture above was likely the result of a water pipe break, causing the road base to wash away, and ultimately allowing the road itself to collapse.
Our roads in the UK are terrible at the moment. It comes from some hard winters where moisture has got into tiny tracks in the road. This then freezes and expands causing minor damage.
By constantly thawing and freezing day after day it eventually causes the road's surface to lost its structure. All it takes then a few heavy trucks break apart the surface.
Unfortunately, they do a terrible job of filling them. They just put a temporary bump fill on without sealing the edges so water just creeps in again
Misallocation of resources by the government and unfortunately political agendas. In Canada, roads are a provincial responsibility, and unfortunately the Nova Scotia government isn't the most competent cats around when it comes to accounting.
Governments fund roads that don't need funding and neglect roads that need the funding. Unfortunately, sometimes the motivations are political in nature. If a certain district voted heavily for the winning party, you can bet all the roads of that district are well paved, while a district who voted heavily for a rival are driving in dirt.
Potholes are caused by a little known species referred to as "asphaltmites". They are similiar to the termite in their physical characteristics but much smaller in overall size. It takes more of them to do damage but what we do not realize is how many of them there actually are. These rascals come up from the underside of the road lament through the stabilized dirt understructure through as series of tunnels. Once they reach the layers of concrete or asphalt they begin to do their destructive gnawing. Normally, their effort is quite concentrated and they will expand their eating area into a circular pattern that normally measures approximately 8 to 12 inches in diameter. Seldom will they eat their way completely through the asphalt. Their little bodies are equipped with some type of vibration sensing nerve endings which allow them to feel the proximity of vehicles passing over the asphalt surface. When that happens they move to another area and begin the process over again. The area they leave has been so thinned down from the under size that soon the asphalt covering the top cannot stan the strain of the load from above and cracks away into chunks which are then knocked from the holes by passing cars exposing a full matured pot hole. There are other theories which the government has employed to keep the knowledge of the asphaltmites from getting into the public domain but most of the these theories are far too tranparent in their explanation thus the word is finally getting out. I hope that I have cleared this matter up for you and please don't be afraid there is absolutely no record of asphaltmites harming humans in any way. WB
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