The Missouri Dept. of Transportation says crews have been keeping busy dealing with recent bouts of snow, ice and extreme cold, and now, are being forced to turn their attention to another roadway issue:  potholes.

“Melting snow and rain, coupled with an extreme swing in temperatures, have caused potholes to pop up earlier in the year than usual,” says Spokeswoman Sally Oxenhandler. “For the time being, MoDOT crews … are turning their attention from plowing snow to filling potholes.”

“Drivers should be on the watch for short-term lane closings and crews and equipment filling potholes across mid-Missouri over the next several days,” said MoDOT Central District Engineer David Silvester.  “Crews will address the worst and deepest potholes first and then will move to more minor potholes.”

MoDOT says 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. As cars and trucks drive over those cracks, the pressure causes chunks of pavement to pop out, and potholes are formed.

The department is asking drivers are urged to report potholes on the state highway system by calling MoDOT toll free at 1-888-275-6636, or by going to the MoDOT website at and clicking on “Report a Road Concern.”