With Michigan motorists facing one of the worst nerve-wracking, frame-bending pothole seasons in history, a group of transportation leaders today kicked off a seven-week long contest to find the state’s biggest roadway crater.
The contest, sponsored by the Michigan Transportation Team (MTT), begins today, February 18, and runs through Friday, March 28, 2008. The contest will award three $318 “service center scholarships” – to cover the average cost crumbling and congested roads cost Michigan motorists – to each of the top three entrants who report the worst potholes.
“Because of this year’s intense freeze-thaw cycle and the unwillingness of elected leaders to provide the funding necessary to fix our roads, this year’s potholes will be the worst on record,” said Mike Nystrom, vice president of government and public relations for the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association and co-chair of the Michigan Transportation Team. “Driving in Michigan shouldn’t be an off-road experience. This contest is one way to focus attention on the deterioration of our roads during what regrettably has become known as ‘pothole season.’”
The contest is part of an ongoing effort to educate policy-makers and others that the dire condition of Michigan roads and bridges poses both an immediate public safety risk to motorists and represents a roadblock for economic development and job creation in the state.
Contestants can log on to www.drivemi.orgto submit a picture of the pothole, its approximate location and contact information by midnight on Friday, March 28. Participants should pull off the road and use caution in taking pictures of the gaping potholes. The public will be able to vote for which pothole they think is the worst at www.drivemi.org. Winners will be announced the week of April 1.
“Pothole season could become a thing of the past if we were to make the necessary investment in our roads,” Nystrom said. “Unfortunately, at current funding levels, we can’t even keep pace with regular maintenance and repairs, let alone the full-scale reconstruction that is needed across the state.”
MTT is a broad-based bipartisan partnership of business, labor, local government, associations and citizens working to improve Michigan’s transportation infrastructure. The Drive MI campaign is committed to promoting the development and maintenance of a safe, convenient and efficient transportation network that serves the public, private and economic development needs of Michigan. For more information, visit www.drivemi.org.