‘Pretty deep pothole’ on I-435 slowed Kansas City traffic. How does that happen?

With the weather warming up and snow melting around Kansas City, many drivers are noticing potholes on roads and highways.

One pothole in particular on Interstate 435 near the Truman Sports Complex Thursday caused cars to pull over on the highway, according to KC Scout cameras.

The pothole on I-435 was fixed Thursday afternoon,said Brooke Rohlfing, senior communications specialist with MoDOT.

She said she did not know how many cars may have been damaged because of it or how big it was, but said MoDOT’s priority is to fill the deepest potholes first.

“I haven’t talked to the crew that was out there to tell me the size of the pothole, but for them to head out there, it was obviously a pretty deep pothole,” Rohlfing said. “It had to be a decent size for them to close a lane and get it fixed.”

As many as 150 pothole patching crews may be working to make state roadways safer on any given day, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation.

If you were wondering how a pothole of this size pops up on roads, here’s what we found out.

How do potholes form?

Potholes form when temperatures warm up during the day but continue to be cold at night, which is why you see potholes more often during the winter and spring months, according to MoDOT.

The rain and snow from winter leave moisture that seeps into cracks and joints in the pavement. When temperatures drop, the water freezes and expands the pavement.

The expansion causes the pavement to bulge and crack. When cars drive over the bulging pavement, it eventually causes chunks of pavement to pop out, forming a pothole.

Potholes typically pop up at this time of year because of the cold weather and moisture, Rohlfing said.

Who do I report a pothole to?

For highways — like I-435 or U.S. 71 — contact the state transportation agency where the pothole is located. For roads, check if the pothole is located within the limits of a city. If so, report it to that city’s government. If not, contact that county.

Here is information on how to report potholes for roads in the most populous cities in the Kansas City area:

Report potholes in Missouri municipalities

  • Kansas City: Call 311 or report the pothole in the myKCMO app. On the city’s website, you can see which streets are expected to get resurfaced.

  • Independence: Call the city’s pothole line at 816-325-7624 or submit a report on IndepNow.

  • Lee’s Summit: Call the public works department at 816-969-1800 or submit a report on LS Connect.

Report potholes in Kansas municipalities

  • Overland Park: Call the public works department at 913-327-6600 or submit a report on the OP Cares website.

  • Kansas City: Call 311 or submit a report on the myWyco website.

  • Olathe: Call the city’s pothole hotline at 913-971-6037 or submit a report on the OlatheConnect website, which is expected to be back up by the end of January

Report potholes on Kansas City-area county roads

Report potholes on Missouri highways

You can submit a report on the Missouri Department of Transportation website.

Report potholes on Kansas highways

You can submit a report on the Kansas Department of Transportation website.

Do you have more questions about roads in Kansas City? Ask the Service Journalism team at kcq@kcstar.com.

The Star’s Eleanor Nash contributed.