Gov. Whitmer: ‘Use all available resources’ to fix Michigan potholes
LANSING — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive directive Wednesday ordering the Michigan Department of Transportation to use all its available resources to fill potholes.
A recent study claimed Michigan has the nation’s third-worst potholes based on Google search statistics. The American Automobile Association estimates that U.S. drivers spend nearly $3 billion a year fixing damages caused by potholes.
In a Wednesday statement, Whitmer said she’s directing the state to speed repairs through overtime payments and contractors.
- It’s pothole season, and Michigan’s are among the nation’s worst, study finds
- Reality check: Whitmer’s budget is massive. But so are Michigan’s problems.
- Who benefits most from tax cut plans from Whitmer, Michigan Republicans?
“Dealing with car damage from driving over potholes while on your way to work or school is frustrating for every Michigander. No family should have to spend their hard-earned money on repairing a flat tire or a broken axle caused by these potholes,” said Whitmer.
“I will continue to work with anyone to fix the damn roads, make long-lasting investments in our infrastructure, and put Michigan first.”
Most years, Michigan spends $6 million to $7 million a year to fill about 400,000 potholes. That’s in addition to the ones that counties and local communities fix.
State Transportation Director Paul Ajegba said the best defense against potholes is regularly scheduled road maintenance and replacement, which requires significant funding.
“When we are not clearing roads from the latest storm, our crews will be out fixing potholes as quickly as possible,” he said.
Michigan is ranked 10th among states for having the worst road conditions. The Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency estimates it will cost $2 billion a year to fix the state’s roadways.
Whitmer promised to “fix the damn roads” when she campaigned for office in 2018, but failed in her efforts to raise the gas tax by 45 cents per gallon to raise another $2.5 billion per year.
Instead, she has scaled back her plans, issuing bonds to pay for repairs and investing some $4 billion over her tenure to repair more than 13,000 miles of roads.
This year, Whitmer has proposed $6.3 billion to fix state and local roads, bridges, airports, transit and rail programs.
See what new members are saying about why they donated to Bridge Michigan:
- “In order for this information to be accurate and unbiased it must be underwritten by its readers, not by special interests.” - Larry S.
- “Not many other media sources report on the topics Bridge does.” - Susan B.
- “Your journalism is outstanding and rare these days.” - Mark S.
If you want to ensure the future of nonpartisan, nonprofit Michigan journalism, please become a member today. You, too, will be asked why you donated and maybe we'll feature your quote next time!