n. The process that causes cracks to appear in road pavement.

Example Citation:
"A drive down Northwest Boulevard near Maple Street finds a thin layer of newer asphalt peeling away to reveal the faded, pitted road below. Parallel grooves grab tires. Cracks in the pavement - known to traffic engineers as 'crocodiling' — give way to gaping holes that jar drivers."
—Kristina Johnson, "A jarring reality," The Spokesman-Review, March 16, 2000

Other "pavement problem" words that traffic engineers use: washboarding The process that causes bumpiness near intersections (braking vehicles push the pavement forward). rutting The process that causes parallel grooves to be formed in each lane (due to the cumulative weight of the vehicles traveling along the lane). fissuring Another name for crocodiling.

Related Words: