Scrap Tires to Change the Pothole Game

Concrete and asphalt are the main materials that are used to pave the roads that paint our landscapes throughout the globe, ever connecting us to one another. And every driver, bus dweller and sidewalk trekker knows that where there are paved pathways, there are potholes. Noting that potholes are structural failures in a road surface caused primarily from the presence of water in the underlying soil structure as well as from the wear from passing traffic, these defects can damage a tire or a wheel and lead to very serious accidents. In Ottawa, Ontario alone, hundreds of pothole claims are made each year.

But with each claim comes the demand for repair and with repair demands comes the need for adequate resources. Dr. Bonaso of Mechanical Concrete has recently come out with a new method for tackling the never-ending pothole problem. While spending his entire life enveloped in civil engineering, construction and business development and serving as a State Secretary of Transportation, he came up with this innovative idea.

After receiving a bunch of scrap tires from the Legislature, he looked at them as an opportunity. “Why couldn’t you just bury the tires in the road?” Engineers were quick to reply that you cannot bury them because they will inevitably retain water. And so his four years of trying to figure out how to rid of both problems began.
Bonaso developed the idea and received a patent for it in 2008, after following through with the traditional technology development stages. These stages are that of first modeling, followed by field testing, lab testing and then implementing three full-scale demonstration projects.

Dubbed the ‘Pothole Terminator’, the method involves taking crushed stone and putting it within a thin-walled cylinder – in this case, an old tired with its sidewalls removed and then covered up. Once the aggregates are confined within the tire, it’s solid, and moisture will not be able to enter. You can then pour concrete or asphalt over the tired once installed.

Once installation is complete, the area then acts as a structural drain – allowing water to run through it without causing damage. This in turn prevents ground and surface water from penetrating or damaging a roadway base and thus prevents the development of potholes.

Not only is the Pothole Terminator a cost-efficient solution to the pothole dilemma, state its inventors, but it’s also friendly to the environment. Scrap tires need to no longer pile up in landfills as useless wastes of space. Now, we can re-use them while simultaneously improving the durability of our roads.