Our Opinion: Pothole Patrol enlists help from motorists

Patching potholes is a public priority.

Countless criticisms of state and local government activities ask: Why spend time and/or money on (fill in the blank) when potholes need patching?

Road crews have responded. And they are asking motorists to help them locate the bone-jarring, teeth-rattling offenders that invariably appear in the spring.

Pothole patching remains a labor-intensive process — shovel asphalt mix into the hole and tamp it down.

Reporting potholes, however, has been simplified by social media.

In Jefferson City, motorists may email the street division directly at jcstreets@jeffcitymo.org or access the city’s website, www.jeffcitymo.org, locate the public works department/streets and click the “Report A Pothole” button.

Britt Smith, the city’s operations division director, said those messages “are emailed directly to the people who do the work.” He added: “We try to get to those within a 24-hour time frame.”

For state-maintained roadways, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) urges motorists to report potholes:

• To MoDOT’s Customer Service Center, available 24/7, at 888-ASK-MoDOT (275-6636).

• On the Web at www.modot.org/asp/repair.htm

• By email to comments@modot.mo.gov

• Through social media on MoDOT’s Central District Facebook page (www.facebook.com/MoDOTCentral

MissouriDistrict) or on the Central District Twitter page (www.twitter.com/MoDOT_Central)

Dubbed Pothole Patrol, the department said maintenance crews are committed to repairing a pothole with asphalt within 24 hours of it being reported.

Invitations to report potholes are opportunities for motorists to transform the frustration of hitting potholes into the satisfaction of seeing them filled.

Simple notification is all it takes.

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