Pothole surge as temperature fluctuates

ST. LOUIS – The combination of rain and drastic changes in temperatures is leading to a pothole issue in the area.

“We’re already having a bunch of cars towed because of potholes,” Rob Terranova, owner of West County Auto, said.

Terranova and his crew have seen 30 cars towed this week. Potholes are reappearing and will continue to do so as temperatures fluctuate between cold and warm air in combination with rain.

“The freeze-thaw cycle is always hard on the pavement and any kind of moisture that gets in there,” Bob Becker, supervisor at MODOT, said. “The more water gets in there and when somebody drives over it, that water pushes it further down in the pavement and causes more cracks and more potholes.”

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In Illinois, IDOT crews were making temporary repairs to roads along U.S. 64 in St. Clair County, U.S. 270 in Madison County and U.S. 67 in Jersey County.

“You’re looking at a possible 70-degree temperature swing between the lows over the weekend and what we’re going to see tomorrow so we wanted to try and seal up as much as we could,” Joe Monroe, District 8 operations engineer at IDOT, said. “I feel like it’s going to be an ongoing battle for us.”

All experts recommend slowing down on the roads.

“If you happen to see a pothole, do not hit the brakes,” Terranova said. “It stresses the suspension twice as much. Just kind of keep your foot off the break and roll through the hole versus slamming on the brake and putting a lot more stress on the suspension.”

Reports of potholes can be made to MODOT at (888) 275-6636 or online at modot.org To report a pothole in Illinois, contact IDOT at (618) 346-3100.

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