Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Potholes Popping Up? Report Them!

The other day I put a soda in the freezer as a quick and easy way to make it cold. Of course in my usual forgetfulness, several hours passed before I remembered to retrieve it. To my dismay, the carbonated liquid goodness froze and expanded beyond the can’s ability to contain it. In other words, it had exploded and left me with quite a mess to clean up.

That’s very similar to what has been happening to a lot of our roads. While higher temperatures made quick work of much of the snow that blanketed Missouri in historic amounts earlier this month, it also left motorists with another travel condition to watch out for – potholes.

As the snow and ice began to melt during those warmer days, it seeped into cracks and joints in the pavement. As the temperature dropped again each night, the water would refreeze and expand in those crevices inside the pavement, causing it to bulge and fracture. The wear and tear of traffic on top made it worse and eventually chunks of the road began to fall out, just like the frozen soda blew the walls of the aluminum can out.

In the future, I can easily prevent another “blow out” in the freezer by simply not leaving my unopened can in there again. On the other hand, there’s nothing I can do to prevent a pothole from forming, but I can be on the lookout for them and report them to MoDOT so they can be fixed right away.

If you encounter a pothole, report it to MoDOT online using the “Report a Road Concern” link on or call 1-888-275-6636.