ST. LOUIS – There’s a new warning for drivers as we hit mid-February in the St. Louis area: potholes are treacherous right now.
FOX 2 has been examining where the worst spots are and what’s being done about them.
The far left lane of northbound Interstate 270 from Manchester to I-64 is especially bad. When you go under that overpass, the potholes seem to be right on top of you without warning. They are cringeworthy when you hit them, and they just keep coming.
“We’ve used over 250 tons of asphalt this year just to fill potholes,” said MoDOT District Maintenance Engineer Bob Becker.
The price tag so far is about $300,000 in the St. Louis district, just for the first 6 1/2 weeks of 2023, according to Becker. That doesn’t include all the potholes on the streets and roads in the cities and towns around St. Louis on both sides of the river.
No matter where you drive around St. Louis, potholes will find you if you don’t find them first.
Driver Ricky Harrold said one pothole split his car wheel.
“I thought the rim was going to come off my car,” he said. “Who’s going to take care of that? Is the city going to take care of it? No, it comes out of our pocket.”
“You literally have to dodge them or be in a Humvee,” driver Ken Bezeau said.
Becker attributes the potholes to fluctuating temperatures, noting Wednesday’s high in the upper 60s.
“By Friday morning, it’s going to be in the 20s again. So, that freeze-thaw cycle, and anytime we get a lot of moisture, like we got rain yesterday, and we’re getting more tomorrow, it causes a lot of potholes,” he said. “Slowing down’s the best thing you can do.”
Becker also urged people to report them. MoDOT has an online form and a phone hotline (888-ASK-MODOT). You can also report potholes via email at email@example.com.
Becker passed along this reminder as well: while you’re keeping an eye out for potholes, keep an eye out for the workers out there fixing them day and night.