New England traffic has long negotiated the effects of our repetitive freeze-thaw cycle that leaves roads a gantlet of potholes. That same cycle bursts water lines beneath roads, forming sinkholes to menace traffic as well. A torturous winter season always has the ability to make Boston’s roads as much an obstacle course as they are transportation infrastructure. - Lane Turner and Lisa Tuite
Robert Backoff/Globe Staff
Oct. 13, 1961: A broken water main created a large sinkhole at East Brookline and Harrison Avenue in the South End as Boston police Officer Joseph Gorman got in the picture.
Globe file photo
April 10, 1963: Ed Walsh tamped down asphalt as Salvatore Tortora and Nick Migliozzi brought more from the truck. The 1963 road repair campaign would require some 8,000 tons of asphalt for pothole repairs in the city.
William Ryerson/Globe Staff
April 28; 1967: Mayor John F. Collins appointed 11 city inspectors to rove through Boston and check on breakdowns in city services. Armed with a two-page checklist, the inspectors roamed through their assigned districts looking to correct problems the city should fix. Potholes, abandoned cars, and broken sidewalks were the most frequent violations.
Edison Farrand/Globe Staff
Nov. 16, 1967: This car was half-buried about a foot deep in this pothole in front of 516 Warren St. in Boston.
Ed Jenner/Globe Staff
March 14, 1969: Local merchants advertised their displeasure at the failure of pothole repairs by the city on Bromfield Street in downtown Boston.
Jack Sheahan/Globe Staff
Feb. 9, 1970: Glee Corsetti (left) and Peggy Mahoney, both of Wilmington, helped each other negotiate a pothole on Boylston Street in Boston. They had their pick of potholes to jump over.
March 3, 1970: Likely a whimsical creation by the Associated Press photographer rather than a found situation, these upside-down boots provided a humorous depiction of falling knee-deep into a Boston pothole on Stuart Street.
Tom Landers/Globe staff
March 22, 1977: Two men in their clean shiny car hit a pothole under the Southeast Expressway after coming out of the Callahan Tunnel on Hanover Street. They lost their hubcap and were jounced around a bit in the car.
Janet Knott/Globe Staff
April 14, 1982: One of the many gaping potholes on the Southeast Expressway threatened traffic. The night before this picture was taken, two cars burst into flames after colliding when the first car lost a tire and had to brake. Both automobiles ignited in the crash, but all the occupants escaped safely.
Thomas Landers/Globe Staff
Jan. 13, 1988: This section of the Southeast Expressway, measuring some 4 by 7 feet, collapsed leaving a hole about a foot deep. The pothole was located in the southbound side some 50 yards past the Kneeland Street on-ramp in the middle lane of the road. Police said some 15 to 20 cars struck the pothole, blowing out tires and damaging front end suspensions and tie rods before the signaling flares could be placed around the hole to alert motorists.