Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issues directive to speed up pothole repairs on trunklines

Even by Michigan standards, this pothole season has been a particularly bad one. 

As drivers emerge from their winter enclaves, they're discovering a bevy of broken concrete and water-filled holes plaguing the state's local and regional roads. 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive directive Wednesday that will speed up the repairs undertaken by the Michigan Department of Transportation. The order directs MDOT to expedite road repairs to trunkline highways.

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"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. "That’s why I’m directing the state transportation department to speed up pothole repairs. We’re kicking this into overdrive, using overtime pay and contractors to get the job done, while we continue broader improvement projects across the state. I will continue to work with anyone to fix the damn roads, make long-lasting investments in our infrastructure, and put Michigan first."

Whitmer, who ran her first campaign on fixing Michigan's roads once and for all, has made multiple efforts to boost funding for road repairs. An increased gas tax first introduced earlier in her term was shot down. Her Five-Year Transportation Program instead is being financed by state-issued bonds. 

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But for the road problems emerging at the end of the 2021-22 winter, her approach includes:

  • Use all available resources to expedite road repairs, including overtime pay and contracted services
  • Assessing conditions on state trunkline highways to identify areas needing repair
  • Ensure the public can easily communicate the location of potholes or other issues with road surfaces specifically on highways
  • Ensure disbursements of Michigan Transportation Fund dollars to local road agencies so townships and counties to assist with repairing potholes

Whitmer's order also directs Michigan State Police to provide more work zone enforcement to support road crews in keeping them safe.