ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Winter throws down some of the biggest challenges for Missouri transportation teams to overcome. Two of those are snow and potholes.
Once the snow is done, the thaw begins and that means potholes.
"The freeze-thaw cycle is a tremendous problem," said Bob Becker, Missouri Department of Transportation maintenance engineer. "This time of year when it gets to 50 or 60 during the day and then gets below freezing at night is hard on the roads."
Snow melts down into the cracks, refreezes, pops the cracks open, then cars drive over, weakening the cracks into potholes. It's a cycle for road crews that seems endless.
"We'll patch potholes year-round," said David Wrone with the St. Louis County Department of Transportation. "It becomes a major endeavor in the winter, early winter through early spring."
No matter if the crew is with MoDOT or St. Louis County, part of their problem isn't the weather, it's the road itself.
"No road can last forever," said Wrone. "And when you have the severe swings we have here, you're going to get potholes."
"As the roadway gets older, potholes happen, especially at joints," said Becker.
MoDOT and St. Louis County send crews out every day the weather allows it, but they aren't psychic. Both ask for the public's help to call in issues.
For St. Louis County pothole issues call: 314-615-8538
For City of St. Louis pothole issues, you can report them online by clicking here, or by calling the Citizens’ Service Bureau at (314) 622-4800.
For MoDOT pothole issues call: 888-275-6636
If you aren't sure if what you are calling about is indeed a pothole, Wrone offers this tidbit, "They're like fingerprints and snowflakes, they are all different. From hand size to something much bigger."