The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) is asking the public to become a member of the "Pothole Patrol." What does this mean?

It means they want the public to report to them the presence of any pothole they see on MoDOT maintained streets and highways.

According to material released by MoDOT, maintenance crews will be out in full force during the month of March repairing potholes "to keep roads as safe and smooth as possible."

"The public is asked to report potholes so MoDOT maintenance crews can assess the damage and complete the needed repairs," MoDOT said in a press release about the subject.

Missouri drivers may have noticed a sudden increase in potholes on the roads they drive thanks to recent significant amounts of rainfall, "big temperature swings," and "freezing rain," according to MoDOT.

“We know the potholes are popping up everywhere, and we’re working to address them as quickly as we can,” said MoDOT Central District Engineer David Silvester. “We’re hoping to gain some ground as soon as the weather dries out. We can’t fill potholes that have water in them because the repair just won’t hold.”

According to information provided by MoDOT, potholes are caused by the rise and fall in temperatures. Warm temperatures during the day, coupled with cold ones at night, causes moisture in pavement to freeze and expand, eventually bulging and cracking pavement.

"When cars drive over the bulging pavement, it eventually causes chunks of pavement to pop out," MoDOT said.

MoDOT said it spends "approximately $15 million a year on pothole patching," with most of that spent in the month of March, during spring weather trends. MoDOT is responsible for 34,000 miles of road in the state of Missouri with includes interstates, U.S. and Missouri routes and lettered routes.

"Potholes on city streets or subdivisions should be directed to local cities or counties," MoDOT said.

Additionally, MoDOT is asking motorists to be aware of crews out patching potholes all month and to drive safely in work areas.

"Allmeroth asks motorists to watch out for crews making the repairs, slow down and move over a lane to give them room to work. As many as 300 pothole patching crews may be working to make state roadways safer," MoDOT state Maintenance Engineer Becky Allmeroth is quoted as saying by MoDOT.