Warmer weather brings potholes

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COLUMBIA - The sun is finally shining and the snow is melting away, but that doesn't mean drivers are in the clear.

The change in weather can leave drivers with more problems than the snow caused: potholes.

MoDOT issued a press release to explain why the drastic temperature changes are the main culprit for potholes:

"Potholes form when temperatures warm up during the day but continue to be cold at night. Moisture from winter rain and snow constantly seeps into the cracks and joints of the roadway. When the temperatures drop at night, that water freezes and expands the pavement, which causes it to crack and bulge."

It is then, after this expansion, that vehicles on the roads contribute to the problem.

"Traffic driving over them, of course, will make them crack and pop out," Brody Hedrick, a MoDOT a maintenance crew leader, said. "That's what normally blows them out for us."

Hendrick urges drivers to be cautious when driving.

"Driving and seeing them, try to avoid them if you can safely," Hendrick said. "Keep an eye out for them, because this time of year they are showing up. Please let us know about them. We'll come out as soon as we can and get them fixed for you guys. We want to make it as easy and as safe for you travellers."

Drivers can call MoDOT's Customer Service Center at 1-888-ASK-MODOT (888-275-6636), e-mail MoDOT at [email protected] Problems on major roads and interstates can also be reported on MoDOT's website.  To report potholes and other damage on city and county streets, drivers should contact the designated city or county agency.