Cracks to the Center of the Earth: The Epidemic Facing America’s Road Infrastructure

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Back in February, a tire-eating pothole claimed 19 automobile wheels in Michigan-and that was only while NBC Affiliate Local 4 recorded the event.

However, Michigan residents aren’t the only ones manically breaking left or right in the desperate attempt to avoid the minefields Americans call roads. It’s becoming a country-wide epidemic.

In 2016, people traveled over 3 trillion miles on America’s roads, equating to over 300 round trips between Earth and Pluto.

With the vast number of drivers utilizing the roads, one would think infrastructure would be a top priority.

It’s a thought that makes the thousands of drivers zigzagging about the US streets laugh.

What is causing this epidemic? And what-besides bruises from car windows and misaligned tires-are the effects?


Causes for the road rage (and we quite literally mean rage at the roads) are many.

Cheap Labor Equals Pothole Extravaganzas

To save money, state and local governments provide contracts to the lowest bidders.

As anyone who has bought inexpensive running shoes can attest, there are some things you just shouldn’t buy at cheaper prices.

The resulting roadways use shoddy material that barely lasts the winter.

What Are “Preventative Measures”?

These are some things our European friends across the pond excel at as we watch and scratch our heads.

Instead of focusing efforts on maintaining high-quality roads, governments have put emphasis on rebuilding them-often with the same shoddy materials.

“The attitude was the faster it crumbles, the faster we’ll get brand-new, ” New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan told TIME.

We Know What We’re Doing

As drivers and Europeans alike shake their heads in dismay, the government continues to barrel ahead in their infrastructure efforts without the bother of research.

That research is what led France to discover a cost-efficient additive that doubles the life of roads and is the reason behind Germany’s deep roadbeds, which are twice the depth of American ones.

Stampeded Streets

Then there is the acknowledgment that more people are driving than ever before, crushing down the poorly-engineered roads on their way to work or to the local supermarket.


Sadly, the effects of the inferior infrastructure are not limited to curses and bumps.

Real estate suffers from the congested traffic plugging up the streets as localities and states scramble for funding. And we won’t mention the many-bursting water pipes and sewage issues. Oops.

Finally, there’s the danger of being swallowed by sinkholes upon which the roads have been built.

If you don’t believe us, just ask driver Pamela Knox what happened to her in 2013.

“Poor road environments can be the leading factor in an accident, ” cautions Marc Anidjar, a dangerous road conditions lawyer in Fort Lauderdale.

It’s duly noted, but we do hope Knox was compensated dearly.


What’s the state of America’s infrastructure? In a nutshell, children no longer need to dig to China; now, they can just hop into a pothole.

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Melissa Thompson

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.