Vice President of Government Affairs
Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association
3rd Winner of Pothole Pocketbook Contest Announced
OKEMOS, Mich. – Ilene Weathers of Birmingham hit a pothole so bad on Southfield Road in mid-February that it caused her passenger side front tire to immediately deflate, which then made her vehicle swerve into a frozen snow bank. With a $918.46 repair bill, Weathers is the week three winner of the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association’s (MITA) Pothole Pocketbook Contest.
“As a Michigan citizen, I can attest to the inconvenience of encountering potholes on Michigan thoroughfares, as well as the associated risks and expenses that are incurred from damage caused by these "booby traps" that have earned Michigan an unflattering reputation nationwide,” said Weathers, who was on her way back home (after taking a friend to Belle Tire for a wheel alignment that was needed after hitting a pothole) when her car sustained damage.
Weathers said she is dismayed with the shortsightedness of state elected officials who are charged to serve the public trust, but in this case have compromised the welfare of Michigan citizens by allowing the deterioration of the roads to continue. She said the status quo has led to such dismal road conditions that it has ultimately had a significant economic impact in terms of attracting tourism, retail activity and potential talent to Michigan.
“I strongly urge lawmakers to respond to their constituents with swift action, through the approval of appropriate funding to support the long-term solutions to provide better roads and thoroughfares, because Michigan citizens deserve better,” Weathers said.
According to Lance Binoniemi, MITA’s vice president of government affairs, Ilene’s story is one of thousands involving Michigan motorists who find themselves in dangerous situations as they try to avoid bad potholes during the worst pothole season Michigan has experienced in recent history. Binoniemi says the safety problem, among many others, can be properly addressed if the Legislature decides that investing in infrastructure long-term and on a permanent basis is the right thing to do. He added that out of all 50 states, Michigan is dead last in its spending per capita.
“Michigan only spends $154 per capita on infrastructure,” Binoniemi said. “Ilene’s personal experience with Michigan’s roads clearly illustrates that delaying action on increasing infrastructure funding actually passes the high cost onto the backs of the public, as well as making the roads very unsafe for our families and children. Potholes and bad roads will not go away without legislative action to increase the annual, long-term funding source for transportation.”
The Pothole Pocketbook Contest is open to all Michigan-licensed drivers aged 18 or older who have endured vehicle repairs caused by bad roads since January 2014. To enter, drivers must submit a photo or scan of their itemized repair bill, along with the contact information of their mechanic or body shop to verify the repair, at justfixtheroads.com/contest.
Drivers can also submit photos of their vehicle’s damage and the specific pothole(s) they hit.
Entrants are encouraged to use the Contact Your Legislator
tool available on the contest website to urge their state legislators to invest in transportation. Other details of the Pothole Pocketbook Contest are as follows:
• MITA will announce additional winners on March 24 and March 31.
• Each winner will receive a check for the cost of the repair, not to exceed $500.