How are potholes formed? And why are they so big this winter?

We've had lots of rain, snow, and sleet recently - which is a bad recipe for these potholes to form and grow.

Extreme varying temperatures also play a factor in the formation of potholes.

So... how exactly are potholes formed?

It has to do with the amount of moisture in the air.

There are cracks in the road from normal wear and tear.

Once rain and snow get into these cracks, mixed with wild swings in temperature, the water freezes and expands. This increases the amount and size of the cracks.

When you add the weight of cars driving down a road over and over again, this weakens the pavement and causes the pavement to break up, creating a pothole.

The potholes have been so bad with the above normal precipitation and the varying temperatures.

If you want to visually see how this works, put a plastic water bottle in the freezer. You'll notice the bottle will expand: the cap will pop up and the bottom will bulge out. That's what happens on the roads you drive on.

Check out these links if you want to report a pothole in your area:

Call: 311 or (215) 686-5560
Or click to report a pothole in Philadelphia

Report a pothole to PennDOT:


Report a pothole in New Jersey

Report a pothole in Delaware
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