COLUMBIA - A larger than normal number of potholes have been created by winter weather in mid-Missouri this year.
In a press release, the Missouri Department of Transportation said crews will start repairing now, until April.
MoDOT cites weather as the main cause of the increased number of potholes on the roads.
“Brutally cold temperatures coupled with ice and snow throughout February have led to a high number of potholes blossoming on Missouri highways already,” Natalie Roark, MoDOT State Maintenance Director, said in a release.
They say that nearly 300 crews will be working to patch potholes across the 34,000 miles of road statewide.
Sam Goedeker is a delivery driver in Columbia who said the potholes this year have nearly caused damage to his car multiple times. "I've almost broken my axle on my car multiple times," he said. "I had to get repaired because it got cracked"
Kyle Chandra, an employee at Alloy Wheel Repair in Columbia, said hitting a pothole can cause major damage to your car's tires.
“It makes the wheel out of round... if you hit it really good, it will kind of put a point to it. At that point, it blows the tire out, it’s not going to hold air, the car has to be pulled over immediately,” Chandra said.
Chandra said he thinks distracted driving is the reason people hit potholes.
“The best advice is to stay aware of the road, you know it’s pretty common these days for people to be on the phone and be distracted. That’s probably the biggest reason why people hit them, is because they’re just not paying attention,” Chandra said.
Roy Lowery has lived in Columbia for over 15 years, and said this year he has seen more potholes in typically problematic areas. Lowery encouraged drivers to "slow down that you can maneuver," and to always be aware of your surroundings. "It's not crazy if you have to go a little bit on one side or the other."
Last year alone, MoDOT spent $18 million patching approximately 760,000 potholes.
MoDOT says many roadways would benefit from resurfacing, but can only be patched due to limited resources. The budget for road repairs is largely financed by a 17-cent per gallon gas tax that has not been changed since 1996.
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.
- Use a smart phone/tablet with a mobile friendly form.
- Potholes on city streets or subdivisions should be reported to local city or county maintenance.