Spring is the season for repair and recovery when it comes to America’s roadways. Warmer temperatures and longer days are a welcome relief, but the harsh winter weather often takes a heavy toll on paved roads and parking lots.
Cracks and potholes caused by the freeze/thaw cycle seem to appear over night. Plowing and salting can worsen the condition of already deteriorated roads, and street flooding from melting snow and spring rainstorms can further stress roads. The resulting damage is more than a mere annoyance for motorists, who spend on average an extra $523 annually to repair blown tires, broken axles and battered shock absorbers, according to the national transportation research firm TRIP.
Regular Road Maintenance is Essential
Without regular maintenance to keep pavement, shoulders and drainage facilities in good condition, roadways can rapidly fall into disrepair. Neglected roads become more difficult to use for individuals and commercial freight services, often leading to more congestion, higher accident rates and increased vehicle operating costs.
Preventative maintenance such as road sealing and repairing defects promptly is critical to extending pavement life. Surface cracks that are not addressed continue to increase in size and depth, allowing water to penetrate, freeze and thaw. This causes potholes to develop, even on recently paved roads, and can lead to extensive deterioration that requires costly repairs or resurfacing.
Spring Repair and Recovery Priorities
Spring road maintenance and rehabilitation programs aim to restore riding quality and maintain the structural integrity of roads and parking areas. Here are some key issues that typically need to be addressed:
Sign and Guardrail Damage
Road signs and guardrails are often damaged during the winter by vehicle accidents and snowplowing operations. It is a traffic safety imperative to repair, reinstall or replace signs and signposts as well as sections of guardrails that are bent, broken or missing.
Faded Pavement Markings
Harsh winter weather conditions, salting and plowing can accelerate the fading of traffic markings on roads and in parking lots. Schedule repainting jobs for when the weather improves. Traffic Safety Direct offers a number of long lasting, quick-drying paints for both asphalt and concrete surfaces, including our Waterbase Traffic and Parking Lot Paint and easy-to-use Stripe® Extra Traffic Marker paint.
Repairing potholes can be costly, but if left untreated they are likely to increase in size and cause additional damage to both roads and vehicles. At the very least, temporary patching should be done as soon as possible and permanent repairs made once warm weather arrives. Perma-Patch® is an all-season, all-weather patching material that bonds permanently to asphalt, concrete, steel, wood and other hard surfaces. Poured right from the bag into the hole, it displaces water and accepts traffic immediately.
Paving or Resurfacing
Road projects are a sure sign of spring, with many paving or resurfacing projects getting under way on highways and local streets. Construction zones and work sites are inherently hazardous for motorists and workers alike, so it is crucial that these areas are clearly marked in order to improve safety and reduce the risk of accidents.
Traffic Safety Direct’s Temporary Overlay Markers are the most popular, cost-effective and convenient way to provide short-term lane delineation on freshly paved roads, both day and night. They simulate solid lines without the need for expensive temporary striping, and can be installed and removed in seconds. Overlay markers are ideal for delineating center single and double lines, edge lines, lane lines and channelizing, and are durable enough to be reused again and again.
With the wear and tear on our roads season after season, regular maintenance can help reduce costs for municipalities and make traveling easier for motorists. At Traffic Safety Direct, we can help with your spring road recovery projects and make sure you are well prepared for what next winter may bring.