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More potholes cropped up on northbound Interstate 75 in Oakland County a day after it forced the state to close 10 miles of the freeway for emergency repairs. 

"Unfortunately, it's gotten bad again, especially near Big Beaver and Crooks roads," Diane Cross, a Michigan Department of Transportation spokeswoman, said Tuesday. "We had probably another dozen cars on the side of the road at one point this morning."

MDOT reopened all lanes of the northbound I-75 at Big Beaver Road after 11:30 a.m.

MDOT announced it would close one lane of I-75 between I-696 and Square Lake Road on Tuesday to repair potholes after they damaged at least two dozen vehicles. The northbound lanes of the busy freeway were closed during rush hour Monday for repairs. 

ReadNB I-75 reopens from I-696 to Square Lake; crews return Tuesday

Officials blame the potholes on a rise in temperature that followed an arctic blast over the weekend. Cross said normally potholes are more prevalent in March and the area sees a pothole season that lasts about a month.

"It's the extreme temperatures we had Friday, Saturday and Sunday and then the sun came out Monday," she said. "All that ice under the roadway melted and left caverns."

Friday's high temperature reached 32 degrees, or freezing, according to the National Weather Service. It was 27 degrees Saturday, 18 degrees Sunday and 15 degrees Monday. Tuesday's high could reach 30 degrees. 

"Usually you can count on it being winter in January and February," Cross said. "The swinging temperatures is the biggest thing we're dealing with." 

MDOT plans to upgrade I-75 north of 13 Mile to near Coolidge starting this spring as part of a widening and reconstruction project. Preliminary work, including widening and paving the shoulders for an eventual traffic shift, wrapped last month, according to the department.

"We have to keep this road together for another five-to-six weeks," Cross said. "In early March, we'll shift (northbound) traffic over into the southbound lanes ... and we'll start tearing up northbound and rebuild it between 13 Mile and Crooks. But we have to get through this freeze-thaw first."

She said crews will be in that area of I-75 "all of the time now." 

"It's just going to be constant and we will have a crew that will be cruising up and down the freeway to look for the potholes that are starting, the ones that are already there and something that somebody has already hit."

Meanwhile, Cross said drivers must remember their safety is in their hands and rules of safe driving are more necessary this time of year.

"Drivers need to pay attention where they're going, watch their speed and keep both hands on the wheel," she said. "They should also check their sources of traffic information to see if there's anything going on. If you see one pothole, even if it's in another lane, it means you're in an area where the chances are there will be more." 

cramirez@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez

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