- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 15, 2014

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Drivers are increasingly dodging potholes across much of Missouri, with the winter storms and roller-coaster temperatures to blame.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (https://bit.ly/1d6jKVw ) reports that road crews have been out in full force since the snow and ice cleared following the Jan. 5 winter storm. Electronic message boards warn Missouri drivers to slow down for repair work.

In the St. Louis region alone, 20 state Department of Transportation crews fanned out this week to fill potholes. Permanent repairs will wait until warmer weather in the spring.

“There are very few routes that are spared right now,” said Becky Allmeroth, maintenance engineer for MoDOT’s St. Louis district.

Asked to quantify the pothole numbers, Allmeroth said: “It is definitely thousands.”

It isn’t just the major highways and interstates. St. Louis County had crews assigned to the pothole repairs, department spokesman David Wrone said. He described the problem as “significant.”

“We had some real doozies show up following that rain Friday,” St. Louis Streets Director Todd Waelterman said. Even after 15 crews worked on repairs Monday and Tuesday, Waelterman said, “We still have a lot of work ahead of us.”

Potholes form when water gets into tiny cracks in the pavement, then expands and contracts with the freeze-thaw cycles.

There has been plenty of water lately. Some parts of Missouri, especially the St. Louis area, got up to 12 inches of snow on Jan. 5. Rain and temperatures in the 50s late last week caused all that snow to melt.

The potholes are taking a toll on cars. Aaron Telle, president of Telle Tire & Auto Service in suburban St. Louis, said his shops are seeing more people with damaged tires and wheels than in past years, and potholes are to blame.

Transportation officials caution drivers to slow down and watch out for repair crews.


Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, https://www.stltoday.com

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