Road crews on the lookout for potholes across the Ozarks

After ice and snow last week
Road crews staying busy after last week's ice and snow
Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 5:35 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Wintry weather and messy roads go hand in hand each winter across the Ozarks. However, improving road conditions have led to an increase in the number of potholes on some area roads after this past weekend.

It’s something that Colten Harris, superintendent of streets for the City of Springfield, isn’t shocked to see.

“We had 15 reports of potholes come in over the weekend,” Harris says. “Especially this time of year and even into spring, we’ll see an elevated level of pothole service requests because of the freeze and thaw cycle.”

While the number of reports can increase by the start of spring, Harris also says potholes can easily pick up after roads improve and after crews finish treating and plowing the roads.

“Whenever we do winter snow and ice removal with plowing and putting salt on the roads, that tends to increase the process as well,” Harris explains. “That certainly will lead to a lot of calls this time of year.”

When the City of Springfield receives a pothole service request, crews will address and repair them. While changing weather could cause a delay in completing repairs, the City of Springfield gets them complete within a 48-hour timeframe. As for the repair process, Harris explained how crews go about it and what they use.

“In the winter, we use a cold mix asphalt,” Harris said. “We clean out the pothole and make sure that everything loose gets cleared out. Then, we’ll apply the cold mix and tamp it down with pressure to pack it in there.”

Harris does say that the cold mix of asphalt serves as a temporary measure to get through the rest of the winter season. When hot mix plants open up once again, they will be more adhesive and lead to a stronger repair that will last longer. Those repairs will wait until the warmer months return to the Ozarks.

When it comes to pothole repair, the big thing for crews is location. Harris says the public reports are helpful when people mark the location of where the pothole is.

“Our customer service representatives will definitely ask for locations and things like that,” Harris said. “Giving them details and information and addressing their questions about where it is will be really helpful. If you’re doing it online on the form or with the mobile app, addressing all of the questions on there will be really helpful.”

We have links to report potholes to the City of Springfield, MoDOT, and ARDOT. For those that see crews on the road making repairs, Harris wants to remind everyone to slow down around them and give them plenty of space to work so the repair can be made fairly quickly.

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