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Weather conditions causing more potholes

This time of year, you may have noticed more potholes while driving around Mid-Missouri.

Aside from the headache of dodging them, they could also damage your car.

According to Columbia Public Works, there are more potholes now because of the weather. An official with Public Works said crews cannot permanently patch the potholes until it gets warmer. And the fluctuating temperatures add to the problem.

Potholes start when moisture gets into cracks in the pavement, public works said. And when that moisture freezes, it expands and pops up the surface.

Those potholes can damage your car’s tires, suspension and wheel alignment.

Potholes are usually worse on roads that have not had surface maintenance in a few years because they have more cracks, according to public works. But it is only able to do about 50 to 60 miles of resurfacing a year with the budget.

Street crews try to patch potholes after they are reported within a 24 to 48 hour period, but depends on weather conditions and the street crew’s work load, Steven Sapp with Columbia Public Works said.

“This time of year, it’s a little hard to do a permanent repair, so we do what’s known as a cold pack repair, which is basically just cold asphalt,” Sapp said. “And it’s a temporary patch. But we do know where we’ve done those temporary patches at.”

Public works crews will go back and do permanent patchwork on the temporary patches around mid-April to May, Sapp said.

If you know of a pothole in Columbia, you can report it to Columbia Public Works here, email or call (573)874-6291.

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