Pothole-proof concrete under development

Posted at 4:51 PM, Apr 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-03 17:51:53-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Road crews have been really busy lately, trying to repair potholes left behind following months of fluctuating temperatures. But some say that rather than patching crumbling roads, it's time to build better ones.

An engineer at Northwestern University has been working to develop a new "smart concrete" that is more durable and resistant to water and fractures.

Ange-Therese Akono is an associate professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Northwestern University. She's part of a team working to create a better concrete for paving the roads of the future.

"We can think of a net that's going to be enmeshed with the grains of cement. And that mesh is really, really strong. So that's going to be preventing cracks from propagating. And it's going to hold the cement together," Akono said.

Better concrete could save billions. According to AAA, damage from potholes cost drivers more than $26 billion last year alone.