Mississippi roads damaged by winter storm

Published 10:10 am Monday, February 5, 2024

Mississippi Department of Transportation crews are responding to damaged roads in the wake of Winter Storm Heather.

The culmination of freezing temperatures, snow, ice and sleet, followed by significant heavy rains during the week of Jan. 15, caused an unprecedented number of potholes on State Routes and Interstates.

The largest threat to asphalt during winter months is the sub-freezing temperatures. The severe drop in temperature can cause significant contractions in the material and can lead to rigidity and cracks.

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Moisture trapped in cracks or below the pavement will freeze once the temperature falls below 30℉. Water expands when it freezes and causes the asphalt to split. Freezing water also causes the ground to heave or uplift due to the expansion. This reaction can create cracks or potholes in the asphalt.

“The safety of motorists and the maintenance of our roads is of upmost importance,” said Brad White, MDOT Executive Director. “Please be mindful that our workers will be out in force repairing potholes in the coming days.”

MDOT crews are working steadily to patch all potholes. Motorists are asked to be aware of pothole repair work zones, slow down, and pay attention as workers may be present near the roadway.