Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issues Executive Directive to speed up pothole repairs

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer makes potholes top priority
Published: Mar. 2, 2022 at 7:52 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The governor who campaigned on “fixing the damn roads” is now putting her focus on potholes.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Directive 2022-2 Wednesday to direct the Michigan Department of Transportation to speed up pothole repairs on state highways. The directive calls on MDOT to use all resources -- including overtime and contractors -- to expedite repairs.

Related: Pothole season begins, brings costly damages to Michigan

The Executive Directive aims to ensure residents can easily report the location of potholes or other issues.

“They’re unpleasing for sure, they can mess your car up,” said Zaria Fields. “I feel like they need to hurry up and fix them.”

Fields is one of many drivers who dodges potholes across Michigan. Residents want to know why do these issues happen every year?

“It’s really due to the climate in Michigan and the freeze thaw cycles that take place during the winter contracting and loosening back up,” said MDOT’s Melissa Longworth. “That’s what creates potholes in our roadways

In winter months, potholes are filled with cold patch, a material used for a temporary fix. Longworth said the temporary fix is only used until winter is over, then a more permanent, hot mix asphalt is used.

Longworth said the cold patch does the job for now, until more resources are available.

Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II said the state budget has $6.3 billion for additional accelerated fixes of roads and bridges.

Related: ‘Together, we can do big things’ -- Gov. Whitmer lays out plans for productive 2022 in State of State address

“We’re fixing these roads in the right way. This obviously is the patching project and the investors that we’re going to focus on are going to be more long-term fixes, road reconstruction,” Gilchrist said. “So we’re going to have to come here and do this kind of work every couple of weeks or every couple of months and, instead, we can build roads that are going to be able to last for decades.”

MDOT is only responsible for interstates, U.S. highways and state roads. Counties, cities and other municipalities are responsible for the rest.

You can report a pothole to MDOT by phone at 888-296-4546 or through its online form here.

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