JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Transportation today kicked off an enhanced statewide pothole repair initiative with two goals: patch potholes as quickly as possible and get information to the public on the variety of ways to contact MoDOT about a pothole problem.
As part of the Pothole Patrol effort, MoDOT maintenance crews are committed to repairing a pothole with asphalt within 24 hours of it being reported.
"We want to keep Missouri highways smooth and safe for motorists, so we'll be working to fill potholes within 24 hours through the end of the month," said MoDOT Central District Engineer David Silvester. "This effort will tide us over until the weather improves to the point where we can make more permanent repairs."
MoDOT reminds drivers they can report potholes in a variety of ways:
•· To MoDOT's Customer Service Center, available 24/7, at 1-888-ASK-MODOT (275-6636)
•· Throught the Report a Road Concern form on the web at http://www.modot.org/
•· Via a smart phone/tablet with a mobile friendly form at www.modot.org/roadconcern
•· By e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
•· Through social media on MoDOT's Central District Facebook page (www.facebook.com/MoDOTCentralMissouriDistrict) or on the Central District Twitter page (www.twitter.com/MoDOT_Central)
Potholes are a reality of routine roadway maintenance, especially on older and more traveled highways, Silvester said. 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 vehicles drive over those cracks, the pressure causes chunks of pavement to pop out, and potholes are formed.
This year's above normal amount of winter weather has caused potholes to pop up earlier than usual and has also created more potholes than is typical.
In addition to being on the lookout for potholes, MoDOT asks motorists to be on the watch for short-term lane closings and crews and equipment filling potholes.