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Our Opinion: MoDOT invites motorists to join pothole patrol

Are you on pothole patrol?

Motorists are being invited to join “Missouri Pothole Patrol” through April 14.

With the first day of spring this week — and in anticipation of spring temperatures catching up with the calendar — the Missouri Department of Transportation has embarked on the month-long program.

“The goal of this effort is to patch potholes as quickly as possible and get us through the transition to warmer weather,” said Elizabeth Wright, MoDOT state maintenance engineer. “MoDOT has dedicated staff and resources to repair minor road damage quickly, but we need the public’s help to spot those potholes and let us know where they are.”

Motorists can report potholes by:

• Calling MoDOT’s Customer Service Center, available around the clock, at 1-888-ASK-MODOT (888-275-6636).

• Accessing the agency online at modot.org from a computer or smartphone. Look for “Report a Road Concern.”

• E-mailing comments@modot.mo.gov

The department points out patching potholes is only a temporary fix. When temperatures warm, permanent repairs will replace the temporary patches.

Potholes, like robins or daffodils, are a traditional sign of spring.

They occur when daytime temperatures warm but nighttime temperatures remain cold. Moisture from winter rain and snow seeps into roadway cracks and joints.

When temperatures drop at night,” MoDOT explains, “the water freezes and expands the pavement, which causes it to crack and bulge. As cars and trucks drive over those cracks, the pressure causes chunks of pavement to pop out, and potholes are formed.”

A springtime ritual among motorists is attempting to avoid the bone-jostling consequences and wheel-alignment damage causes by potholes.

A more fulfilling and constructive ritual this spring will be helping to identify and repair potholes.

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