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As we told you a couple weeks back, Michigan roads are a mess. The orange barrels keep popping up all over the place, but for every road that is fixed, two begin to crumble. The problem has been ongoing for decades, and it has gotten to the point where finding Chevette-sized craters can net you some serious prizes.

The Michigan Transportation Team staged a month-long competition to get pictures and stories of the best potholes in Michigan, and the nearly 70 contestants captured some real craters. Four, first prize winners received $318 "service center scholarships" for their troubles, and the MTT also named four honorable mention photos due to the abundance of quality entries. The four winning photos are pictured above, and the other pics are available by clicking on the link below.

If you neglected to send in a picture of a concrete Michigan man-hole, you'll likely have a good chance to win next year, since the mitten state has a $2.7 billion road repair shortfall. Last month I bent my front passenger rim (pictured, right) on a Pontiac pothole, so I've already got my entry. Hit the jump to read the MTT press release. Thanks for the tip, Jed!

[Source: Drive Michigan]



PRESS RELEASE: Pothole Contest Winners Announced
link: Pothole Contest Winners Announced

LANSING - A coalition working to secure more funding to fix Michigan's roads and bridges today announced four "service station scholarship" winners of a month-long contest to identify the worst rim-bending potholes in the state.

The judges chose award-winning potholes in Walker, Waterford, Saginaw and Jackson. To view the photos, visit www.drivemi.org/potholes.

"This was an extremely difficult decision because of the sheer number of potholes submitted that would do serious damage to your car," 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. "With Michigan having the worst pothole season in history, there were so many craters to choose from."

The contest, sponsored by the Michigan Transportation Team (MTT), awarded $318 "service center scholarships" to help offset vehicle repairs due to the poor condition of Michigan's roads and bridges. The winners were chosen from almost 70 entries from all over the state. Pothole winners were:
• O'Brien Road, Walker
• S. Jackson St., Jackson
• Irwin Dr., Waterford
• Veterans Memorial Parkway, Saginaw

Due to the stiff competition of frame-busting pothole pictures, the MTT also gave honorable mention recognition to a number of potholes across the state:
• Dean Lake Rd., Grand Rapids Township
• Stadium and W. Michigan Dr., Kalamazoo
• Lafayette and Division St., Grand Rapids
• Ford Rd., Canton
• John R., Detroit

"The contest was 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 was 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 for legislators to take these crumbling roads seriously by addressing the lack of transportation funding and the risk that this "season" poses to drivers in Michigan.

Michigan has an annual funding shortfall of $700 million for its state transportation system and a shortfall of more than $2 billion for local roads. This funding pothole is due to massive cuts to the state's road and bridge program because of declining gas tax revenues. This year alone the state's road and bridge program dropped by $300 million or 18 percent.

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. Please visit www.drivemi.org for more information on transportation funding.



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  • 38 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Come to Pittsburgh. We go above and below freezing more times in a winter than any other city. Imagine the kind of frost heave damage that does.

      I've blown a tire and screwed up the alignment so bad that in the 5 days it took to get the new tires ordered, the full size spare wore to the wires. A gift that keeps on giving!
        • 7 Years Ago
        As a Pittsburgh resident I can honestly say we've got some of the worst roads I've ever seen. The roads here are unbelievable in an almost Michigan-like state of disrepair. It's like running a gauntlet to get my car across the city, dodging and swerving around holes gigantic enough to swallow a Geo Metro whole.
        • 7 Years Ago
        2 comments:

        1. Tirerack.com- I get tires overnight with the standard shipping (I'm in Michigan; They're in South Bend, IN), drop-shipped to a local shop that doesn't bend me over an orange barrel. Literally, new tires on my car in 24 hours.

        2. Alignment so bad that the cords are showing on your spare? And, you're driving this car while waiting for new tires? Sounds like the tires are the least of your worries...
        • 7 Years Ago
        you win, your city is worse than mine.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I use Toyo's, so no, Tire Rack is not available to me, and all Toyo retailers in the area have to order the tires because it's an uncommon size.

        Also, do you suggest I rent a car for 5 days while waiting for the tires? Or should I just take an entire week off of work using the excuse "I got a flat tire?" I really didn't have much choice. And I got a free alignment with the new tires, so I wasn't complaining.

        On my old car, I'd need new ball joints after every winter.

        If this blog were all guys based in PA we'd never hear the end of the PA potholes, either. The grass is always greener...
        • 7 Years Ago
        sorry friendo, I spent time in both Pitt. and now in metro Detroit. you may "go above and below freezing more times in a winter than any other city" (site your source), but we have more snow, hence more usage of salt, causing more freeze, melt, freeze, melt, and the plows cause more damage than anything else, especially on our concrete roads where they literally bite at every expansion joint creating lane wide pot "trenches". Driving around detroit reminds me of Afghanistan...bombed out and depleted. Besides, if this is a ____ measuring contest, we're the most dangerous city in the country, and our roads or worse than your's, plus we don't call our state by it's initials (P A...lame), so there
      • 7 Years Ago
      There's a reason I stick with 15s on my cars in Canada. Everyone I know with 17+ wheels has at least one "mishap" a year with them. It really sucks when the rim isn't repairable AND it's out of production.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Those are some pictures of some respectable and representative potholes in MI. In north west MI I avoid I'd say 15-20 potholes of that size in my 7mile drive to work.

      The potholes pictured in previous articles were a joke, the road crews don't even bother filling holes of that size.
      • 7 Years Ago
      check out the i-25 pothole in denver a few weeks ago.

      http://www.timescall.com/News_Story.asp?id=6430
      • 7 Years Ago
      Having lived in Chicagoland for most of my life(I live in Boston now),I can tell you that some of the potholes around Chicago have gotten bad to a point where they turn into SINKHOLES!! Around Northwestern Indiana(Gary in particular)the roads there haven't been cared for in years! In Gary in some places you're dodging as many potholes as you are bullets(literally)!!! Boston has some pretty good sized potholes as well. in some places laying salt isn't an option(due to being near a reservoir or conservation area where the salt may leach into the water table)so they lay sand and/or use tire chains-which can really destroy a road!
      • 7 Years Ago
      3 Trillion dollars to reconstruct Iraq while the United States infrastructure is crumbling. How ironic.
      • 7 Years Ago
      THAT'S IT?!?!?!?!? THAT'S NOTHING! Come up to Pennsylvania, our roads are 10 times worse than those little bumps.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I've lived all over the midwest starting and ending up in Chicago. I've also travelled all over the country and have never, ever, seen worse roads than Southeastern Michigan. Not even close.

      I was passing through Dearborn one morning when I lived out there and saw 5 cars on the side of the Southfield Freeway with flat tires. One of them was a full size pickup with the control arm torn off. Now that was before they completely resurfaced Southfield but that was also like 8 or 9 years ago when times were actually good in Detroit. I can't imagine some of those roads now after all the tax dollars left.

      I heard the reason the roads got so bad was that the federal government cut road construction budget to SE MI because they refused to institute mandated emissions testing. Not sure if that was an old wives tale or true, but I didn't know of any other metro area that didn't have emissions testing at that time.
      • 7 Years Ago
      wow, Beach Street or Main Street anyone from Merimbula?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Come to New Brunswick, Canada, and you'll see some damn big friggin' potholes, too! I moved here from Texas, and have never ever seen roads so bad as up here.
      • 7 Years Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      HOLY CRAP! I Am Suprised that My Aunt's Suspension and her Rims Have not FAILED Yet! She Lives in the Kalamazoo Area.
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