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Insider Blog: We’re driving into pothole season

Temperature swings can be uncomfortable, but they can also be hard on roads and highways around mid-Missouri. That is, if the swing spans across the freezing mark.

"The more freeze/thaw cycles you have, the more likely you are to see potholes," says MODOT District Engineer, Jason Schafer.

Repetitive freezing and thawing highlights pre-existing imperfections in pavement. Worn pavement allows water to seep below the surface of the road.

In warmer months this isn't a huge problem, but in fall and winter, it can create sheets of ice that build underground.

The ice expands causing the pavement to bulge and lose it's structural integrity.

When the ice melts, the pavement collapses and falls in on itself, creating a pothole.

They often start to form in the fall, but the consequences can linger into winter. This is when mechanics say you should pay extra attention to your car, and schedule periodic inspections, especially before taking long trips.

"Your auto repair technician is going to be the expert that knows how to identify those tell tale signs of damage that could cause you problems long term either financially or in terms of time," says Owner of Allstar Auto, Devin Kelley.

If you hit a rather gnarly pothole on a state maintained road, MODOT has a way for you to report it, so they can get it fixed.

You can find that link here, and you can also file a claim for damages here.

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John Ross


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