In March, about 300 Missouri Transportation Department crews are patching potholes on state roadways during the week. MODOT’s enhanced pothole repair initiative continues through March. Pothole work costs Missouri about $15 million annually.
Jefferson City facility supervisor Kyle Fischer says MODOT’s pothole hotline is very helpful.
“We get lots of calls. As soon as March kicks off, our phones are ringing off the hook,” says Fischer. “We can’t be over every road that we have. So we ask the public’s help to call in and tell us if they notice a pothole somewhere. They don’t call in just one pothole.”
Potholes form when temperatures warm up during the day, but continue to be cold at night. This is the main cause of potholes in highways and why they are prevalent during spring. 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 to pop out.
“If a customer calls them (potholes) in today, we will try to have that hole filled before they go to work tomorrow,” says Fischer. “That’s our goal during Pothole Patrol Month.”
When motorists see MODOT’s yellow flashing lights, Fischer urges them to slow down, pay attention and move over.
“It only takes one person and one car not paying attention,” says Fischer. “That’s why we always have multiple people on a crew so we have more eyes looking out for the dangers and looking out for the traveling public that’s not paying attention.”
The state maintains 34,000 miles of road including interstates, U.S. and Missouri routes and lettered routes.
To report potholes, MODOT’s 24/7 customer service center number is 1-888-ASK-MODOT (888-275-6636).