Watch the road: Potholes form when the temperature changes

ST. LOUIS – Potholes are scary tire and rim locators and potentially harmful holes on the road really like to pop up after a winter storm. Hitting one is never fun.

“A serious puncture can cause a flat tire. If nothing else, mess up the alignment, causing problems like that. So it’s our job to fill those holes,” MoDOT County St. Louis Maintenance engineer Bob Becker.

Rain and snow melt into cracks in the pavement. When water freezes, it expands, causing pavement cracking. As the ice melts, the pavement shrinks leaving gaps where water can collect. As we go through the many freezes and thaws of winter, the pavement is constantly weakening.

“Once it’s loose enough, it’s like anything else, then you’re going to hit it with a car. It starts moving it and breaking it, eventually it pops out,” says Becker.

MoDOT teams will fill potholes whenever weather permits. Drivers should watch out for crew members and give them space to work.

“They will be on the ground. They would shovel that asphalt out of the back of the truck and into the holes. Everyone needs to slow down and be careful for us,” Becker said.

MoDOT needs your help to ensure good and safe roads. If you know of a pothole repair point, report it. Watch the road: Potholes form when the temperature changes

Charles Jones

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