It doesn’t matter what street you go down, where you turn or where you are going, they are there. Yes, the potholes are everywhere. And they are causing car accidents and car wrecks in Michigan at an astounding rate.
As a Michigander born and raised in the Great Lakes state, I’ve seen my fair share of potholes over the years. But this year is different. I’ve never experienced the shear size and number of potholes that are invading our roadways and highways all over the state.
The reasons for the potholes are obvious. The large amount of snow we have received this season, along with the freezing and thawing this winter has brought has created the perfect recipe for the destruction of mix cement and asphalt.
The question though becomes how do we fix this mess? According to a recent article on mive.com, Michigan has the lowest per capita spending on infrastructure in the country. This means we spend less per person on things like maintaining our roadways and bridges than any other state. This is an appalling statistic, especially when you consider we live in a state that demands a lot of attention to infrastructure due to our natural climate.
Well, in the interim these potholes must be patched by local municipalities and County Road Commissions. Under Michigan law, if a city or county knows that a roadway is not in reasonable repair for at least 30 days after the defect formed, that municipality can be held civilly liable for personal injuries that occur due to the defective roadway conditions. But beyond civil penalties, poor roadways create a financial burden on Michigan motorists too. According to one survey, the average Michigan resident pays $357 annually in unnecessary repairs to their vehicles due to poor road conditions. This is a lot of money.
In the long run, Michigan lawmakers must earmark more funding for infrastructure spending. In addition, greater research into better and longer lasting cement and roadway mixtures must be a priority. If they can make durable and resilient roadways in Germany, we can do it here.
In the meanwhile, if you notice a pothole out there that looks dangerous – report it. A great tool is using the state’s Report a Pothole webpage. This widget allows users to specifically list where the pothole is located so governmental agencies can be made aware and fix the problem.