Saginaw County won a statewide contest for the worst pothole for the second consecutive year, in addition to their 2008 award for the state’s worst bridges. This series of bad luck and three statewide awards has now earned the county a “Bad Roads Trifecta,” the Okemos, MI-based Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association (MITA) announced today.
Saginaw resident Michelle Scott received a $318 award last week when she submitted an award-winning pothole photo of Frost Road in Saginaw Township, where a huge section of asphalt is crumbling so bad that you can literally see dirt where pavement should be.
Last July, MITA announced that Saginaw County had the worst bridges in the entire state. Over half, 49 of the county’s 97 MDOT bridges were rated in poor, serious or critical condition, far and away the worst county.
“Saginaw County is literally a poster child for the worst roads and bridges across the entire state,” said Mike Nystrom, vice president of public and government relations at the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association (MITA). “This isn’t a case of road agencies not doing their jobs adequately. Locals are literally starving for more dollars as state policymakers sit on their hands.”
Adding insult to injury, Saginaw County received a measly three road projects totaling less than $20 million from the federal stimulus package, while the needs are estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars if not more. Nystrom credited state Senator Roger Kahn (R-Saginaw) with trying desperately to get more stimulus dollars for his local counties in the legislative budget process, but said, “you can’t get blood from a turnip. Policymakers need to invest a lot more state money in our transportation system.”
The MI Asset Management Council estimates that 346 miles of federal-aid eligible roads in Saginaw County are in poor condition. These numbers could easily double when other local roads are included.
MITA represents a broad spectrum of highway construction companies and suppliers that help build a better Michigan infrastructure from the bottom up. They have been a leading voice for securing adequate transportation funding at the federal and state levels. For more information, visit www.mi-ita.com or www.drivemi.org.