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The Staggering True Cost of Potholes

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

"I'll be back" is not just a phrase for “The Terminator” fans anymore. It’s also all too familiar to road crews tasked with dealing with potholes. Often, it's not a promise, but a grim prophecy, a lament over the repeated return to fix the same potholes over and over again. This persistent problem costs money, time, and significant effort. But what's the real price tag attached to pothole repair? With an estimated 55 million potholes scattering the American landscape, it's time to scrutinize the true cost of this seemingly incessant task and understand how American Road Patch can turn things around.

Photo: Why continue with conventional repair methods when American Road Patch is available? Consider this case: An alarming repair job on a $37 million freeway, recently renovated in Southern California. A single application of American Road Patch could have extended the lifespan of this repair for years, perhaps even indefinitely, instead of leaving it crumbling soon after the "repair" was made.

The Hidden Expenses of Pothole Repair

If you think the cost of a pothole repair stops at the price of a bag or two of fill, think again. The average cost of patching a pothole ranges from $100-$400, based on the size, depth, and extent of the damage. Add in the cost of mobilizing the machinery and crew, and you're looking at an additional $100 to $250 per pothole, conservatively. This isn't even taking into consideration the ongoing costs of revisiting "The Terminator" potholes - the ones that seem to need constant attention.

Pothole repairs are already expensive and reworking old patches only adds more hours and costly resources.

What's worse, the potholes are never under control because manufactured mixes just don't last. By simply adding the American Road Patch over conventional fills, you have just turned a short-term solution into a permanent one.

Here are some of the reasons that pothole repair costs can be so high and how you can use American Road Patch to start saving time, money, and resources.

Uncovering the True Pothole Repair Costs


Some county road crews have to make long trips to the nearest asphalt plant. Including wages, fuel, and vehicle wear and tear, these travel costs escalate quickly. Factor in the repeated trips for recurring repairs, and the expenditure snowballs. The American Road Patch (ARP) provides a sustainable solution, ensuring a lasting repair the first time around when applied over a conventional fill, negating the need for multiple trips.


From traffic obstruction to road preparation, curing time for asphalt, and subsequent cleanup, labor costs form a significant part of pothole repair expenses. Despite not being directly accounted for by many county road departments, taxpayers still bear these expenses. When you use ARP over a conventional fill, the application seals and contains the repair area and traffic can resume immediately. No cure time, no downtime, and the passing traffic only fortifies the repair.

Road Closures

Yet another reason that underlines the importance of permanent pothole repair is road closures. This often overlooked expense can lead to loss of business, delivery disruptions, and the potential requirement of extra personnel for traffic management.

Failed Asphalt Patches

Not all pothole repairs are created equal. Some are temporary, others more permanent. Typically, the more durable the repair, the costlier the materials and labor. That's where American Road Patch steps in. It offers a solution that seals in traditional repairs, ensuring their permanence. It is immediately traffic-ready and helps crews move swiftly onto the next repair.

Imagine a world where a pothole repair is a one-and-done job, with the reassurance that the problem has been definitively resolved. That's the reality American Road Patch offers. Gone are the days of routine inspections and rescheduling repairs. This results in massive savings in pothole repair expenditure allowing crews to repair more potholes.

The Bottom Line

Given the estimated 55 million potholes across America, the initial repair cost calculation already presents an immense financial challenge. If we use the conservative estimate of $100 for the direct cost of filling each pothole, that's a starting price tag of $5.5 billion. But this figure only scratches the surface of the true cost.

Remember, this doesn't account for labor, fuel, vehicle wear and tear, or the additional costs associated with mobilizing machinery and crew, estimated to be an extra $100 to $250 per pothole. At a conservative average of $150 for these additional costs, we're looking at an extra $8.25 billion. The total then rockets to around $13.75 billion.

But the true cost is even more substantial when you factor in repeated repairs of the same potholes due to traditional repair methods' lack of durability, road closures' impact on local businesses, and the additional staff needed for traffic control during repairs. As such, the economic burden of pothole repair is colossal and highlights the cost-effectiveness and necessity of long-lasting solutions like American Road Patch.

What Does A Permanent Pothole Repair Solution Mean For Workers?

For some that have not yet crunched the numbers, there may be a concern that work will dwindle for city workers if a permanent solution to the pothole problem is achieved. Yet, it cannot be stressed enough that there is truly nothing to worry about, there are plenty of potholes to go around.

With an astonishing count of 55 million potholes in the U.S., a number that continues to swell daily, we are realistically an eternity away from putting an end to this perennial problem. In fact, it's highly probable that potholes will never be entirely eliminated from our landscape. In other words, there are enough potholes to keep everyone busy, even if they are repaired effectively and permanently.

If we ever find ourselves in a situation where we've conquered every single pothole, we'll likely be navigating through the skies in flying cars, rendering potholes a relic of our terrestrial past. So, while we're still bound to the ground, let's focus on mending them, knowing that our fight against potholes will be an enduring one.

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