A coalition working to secure more funding to fix Michigan’s roads and bridges today announced they are kicking off their third annual contest to identify the worst potholes in Michigan. The Michigan Transportation Team (MTT) will be awarding $318 in cash for drivers who submit pictures of the worst teeth-rattling potholes in the state.
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.
“There are some real rim-busters out there already, and it’s only February,” said Mike Nystrom, vice president of government and public relations for the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association (MITA) and co-chair of the Michigan Transportation Team. “We thought last year was bad, but we’ve got a rough spring in store.”
Due to the stiff competition, the MTT will be awarding four regional winners this year in northern, western, southeastern and central Michigan.
To enter, residents must take a picture of the worst potholed road or crumbling bridge and upload it to www.drivemi.org. The general public can vote on their favorite choices and pothole contest winners will be decided on March 30.
“The contest is a fun way to highlight a serious problem, but there is nothing fun about dodging enormous potholes and driving on dangerous roads,” said Nystrom.
The contest is part of an ongoing effort to educate policymakers that the dire condition of Michigan’s roads are a serious threat to public safety and a roadblock to business development in the state. MTT is pushing to end legislative inaction and asking legislators to address the lack of transportation funding that puts Michigan drivers at risk.
A recent study by the Michigan Transportation Funding Task Force (TF2) says that the state needs to double its transportation funding from $3 billion a year to $6 billion a year in order to make just basic improvements in pavement conditions and congestion. The dire needs of our roads and bridges is due to decades of neglect. Now, the situation is getting even worse because gas tax revenues are plummeting. Since 2002, revenues have declined by almost 12 percent.
“We’re turning a negative into a positive; hit a giant pothole and you could be $318 richer,” Nystrom said.
MTT is a broad-based, bi-partisan partnership of business, labor, local government, associations and citizens linked with the common goal of improving Michigan’s transportation infrastructure. The DriveMI 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.