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TDOT: Changing temperatures can cause potholes on Tennessee roads

The Tennessee Department of Transportation said that it relies on the public to help locate potholes so that they can be filled.

Towards the middle of February, East Tennessee is looking at temperatures in the low 50s. For many people, the warm weather has given people to opportunity to go outside enjoy some time in the sun.

However, experts also said that it can cause problems on the roads, such as potholes. They're caused when water freezes and thaws during the winter. Moisture can get under the asphalt and cause the roadways to soften when the weather is warm.

Then, when temperatures drop again, the water in the asphalt can freeze and expand, causing the roads to crack and holes to form.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation said that it tries its best to patch up bad spots on the road, but also said that they're temporary fixes.

"This is something we try to get to as quickly as possible," said Mark Nagi, a spokesperson with TDOT. "We understand that it is a real nuisance, but unfortunately potholes can occur. So, we just try to get them fixed as quickly as we can."

In East Tennessee, the department covers 9,000 lane miles. Officials said they try to patch the worst places when they occur and that each section of highway is usually repaved every 8-10 years.

Sometimes, officials said that they need to repave the roads sooner.

The department relies on the public to identify severe potholes since crews can't be everywhere. Drivers can report potholes on TDOT's website.