Prolonged winter weather has left behind an unwanted reminder: potholes
Prolonged winter weather has left behind an unwanted reminder: potholes.
Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) crews will be focusing on repairs through April. Crews started working to address the pesky potholes as soon as there was a break in the weather. MoDOT will have about 300 pothole patching crews statewide working to make roadways safer.
About 400,000 potholes have been patched during the first two months of 2019. In contrast, approximately 619,000 potholes were patched for the entire year in 2018.
“We are working as hard as we can to fill the potholes,” said Becky Allmeroth, MoDOT State Maintenance Engineer / Chief Safety and Operations Officer. “Some potholes have to be repaired multiple times because of the additional rain last week. The temporary repairs are not holding. We ask motorists to please be patient with us as the repairs are being done.”
Crews address the deepest potholes first. Until roadway temperatures rise — and remain — above freezing, the repair is made using a cold asphalt mix. However, this is a short-term repair. The long-term fix, a hot asphalt mix, isn’t effective until temperatures are warm for a prolonged period of time.
Motorists should watch out for MoDOT crews making the repairs, slow down and move over a lane to give them room to work.
Here are some other safety tips:
If you can't avoid a pothole, please slow down before you hit it.
Don't brake directly over a pothole; this can actually cause more damage.
When driving over the pothole, hold the steering wheel firmly to avoid losing control.
Use caution when driving over a puddle of water because it might be a pothole in hiding.
Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Properly inflated ties hold up better against potholes than tires that have too much or too little air.
Potholes form when temperatures warm up during the day but continue to be cold at night. The rain and snow from winter leave moisture that seeps into cracks and joints in the pavement. When temperatures drop, the water freezes and expands the pavement. This expansion causes the pavement to bulge and crack. When cars drive over the bulging pavement, it eventually causes chunks of pavement or asphalt to pop out.
Motorists can report the location of potholes on state maintained roads using the following tools:
Call the 24/7 Customer Service Center at 1-888-ASK-MODOT (888-275-6636).
Use the Report a Road Concern form on the web at modot.org.
Use a smartphone/tablet with a mobile friendly form at modot.org/report-road-concern
MoDOT spends approximately $15 million a year on pothole patching. MoDOT maintains 34,000 miles of road including interstates, U.S. and Missouri routes and lettered routes. Potholes on city streets or subdivisions should be directed to local cities or counties.