Melting Snow Exposes Teeth-Rattling, Bone Jarring Potholes Across Michigan: Pothole season will be the worst on record
LANSING— As state policymakers begin their eight-month wait for yet another committee to study the issue of transportation funding, melting snow has exposed teeth-rattling, bone-jarring potholes. Driving on crumbling and congested roads costs each Michigan motorist an average of $318 per year, according to The Road Information Program (TRIP) out of Washington D.C.
“It’s the worst I’ve ever seen,” said Mike Nystrom, Vice President of Government and Public Relations for the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association. “Because of this year’s intense freeze-thaw cycle and the unwillingness of elected leaders to provide the money necessary to fix our roads, this year’s potholes will be the worst on record. Ironically, we aren’t even in the worst of pothole season yet.”
Motorists need to avoid the potholes where possible and also be on the lookout for road crews doing the patch jobs. Unfortunately this process of using cold patch to fill potholes is a short-term fix to a much deeper problem.
Motorists hoping for relief this spring will be disappointed. The state is in the midst of massive cuts to the state’s road and bridge program due to declining gas tax revenues and the end of the state’s Jobs Today bonding program. The 2008 MDOT program is dropping $300 million -- or 18 percent – this year. Meanwhile, just yesterday Gov. Granholm announced a task force and advisory committee to study the issue of long-term transportation funding, with the first report not due until October 31st of this year.
The Michigan Department of Transportation has a pothole hotline that motorists can use to report potholes on state-maintained roads (those beginning with the letter I, U.S. or M). The number is: 888.296.4546. For potholes on other stretches of roads, motorists must call their local road commissions.
“And while they are at it, drivers need to call their legislators and tell them it's time to fix our roads," said Nystrom.