How to report potholes in Michigan; resources in Metro Detroit

Potholes are a problem experienced in many states, but they are especially famous and a seemingly never-ending issue in the state of Michigan. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and local county road commissions have resources available as well as information on potholes and how to report them.

What is a pothole?

A pothole is a missing part of the road caused by a combination of changing weather conditions and vehicle traffic.

The weather changes a lot in Michigan. The state's seasonal freeze-thaw cycles are what produce our potholes.

Water seeps into cracks in the pavement and freezes and thaws. This creates a gap in the road that increases in size every time it happens.

As cars drive over these weakened and cracked areas, the pieces eventually break off and create a pothole.

RELATED: Michigan pothole season is here. Here's how they form

How do I report a pothole in Michigan?

To report a pothole on state roads (usually starting with M, I, or US) you can call MDOT at (888)296-4546, or fill out their Report a Pothole form.

Potholes can also be reported to your county's road commission.

  • Macomb County Road Commission: Road maintenance requests, such as pothole repair, can be called on at (586)463-8671. Requests can also be made online through a form on their website.
  • Monroe County Road Commission: Service requests can be made through a form on the road commission's website. The Maintenance Division can be reached at (734)240-5102.
  • Oakland County Road Commission: Large potholes and emergency situations can be called on at (877)858-4804. Non-emergencies can be sent in through a form on their website.
  • St. Clair County Road Commission: Pothole repair requests can be made to City Hall at (810)329-7121 ext. 205. Include the location in the repair request.
  • Washtenaw County Road Commission: Potholes that need immediate attention can be called on at (734)761-1500. Reports can also be submitted on their website or through their WCRC Fix It app.
  • Wayne County Road Commission: Road hazards, such as potholes, can be called into the road commission at 1(888)762-3273. They can also be submitted online through their website.

How do I make a damage claim?

If your vehicle was damaged by a pothole, claims can be made through county road commissions if they occurred on a local road. MDOT only processes damage claims made on state roads.

Links to county road commissions and MDOT damage claim resources:

Governor Gretchen Whitmer's office released a statement by her on the state's budget plans to address road infrastructure.

"Since I took office, Michigan has repaired, rebuilt, or replaced over 13,000 lane miles of road and over 900 bridges, supporting nearly 82,000 jobs without an increase at the pump," said Gov. Whitmer. "We’ve made huge progress, but there’s still so much more to do. That's why I'm keeping my foot on the gas as we move forward to fix the damn roads with the right mix and material, so commuters have a smooth, reliable ride for decades to come. The budget that I just introduced is the largest infrastructure investment in Michigan's history -- with $1 billion more than the previous year -- to fix even more roads and bridges and support tens of thousands of good-paying construction jobs."

Wayne County also released a statement about ramped up efforts to address road patching and repairs.

"Beginning the week of February 21, Wayne County will expand staff schedules to 10 hours per day/6 days a week to strategically address the areas with the greatest needs for repair.  Additionally, Wayne County will utilize contractors to support existing staff, thereby increasing the county’s capacity to address potholes that can be a hazard to area drivers. 

‘We know that potholes are a recurring issue every year.  That is why federal and state dollars to invest in infrastructure is so important,' said Wayne County Chief Executive Officer Warren C. Evans.  ’Wayne County has a 10-year asset management plan to improve our roads and bridges, but more funding is needed.  My administration continues to collaborate with our state and federal partners to find a long-term solution to funding this critical infrastructure and to ensure that Wayne County receives more dollars to invest in our roads.'"