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Jarred by Potholes? You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

So, what should you do if you encounter an axle-breaking pothole? You may be eligible for compensation from the state.

Where are the worst potholes in town? Tell us about them in the comments and, if they're located on a state trunkline, report them directly to the Michigan Department of Transportation. (Patch file photo)
Where are the worst potholes in town? Tell us about them in the comments and, if they're located on a state trunkline, report them directly to the Michigan Department of Transportation. (Patch file photo)

A cycle of freezing and thawing is contributing to some jarring moments for Michigan motorists, and Gov. Rick Snyder says that while he supports the Legislature’s efforts to come up with money to fix them, that’s not the long-term solution.

The governor said ore than $1 billion a year – 10 times the $100 million the Senate approved in a supplemental spending bill to fix the state’s pocked roads – is needed to fund road repairs, the Detroit Free Press reports.

The House Appropriations Committee is considering a more generous bill that would add another $215 million to spending this year to make road repairs.

Snyder said even the higher amount won’t be enough to fix the Michigan’s roads, and at best will fill the potholes and help pay for salt and overtime.

That’s not the end of the bad news. Potholes are only going to get worse, the governor said.

“When the thaw comes, when it actually does warm up, it’s going to be much worse than it is today,” he said.

The potholes aren’t the only problem with the state’s transportation infrastructure, said the governor, who has been asking for the past two years for an additional $1.2 billion to spend on roads and bridges – about 13 percent of which are structurally deficient.

In the meantime, what should you do if you encounter a pothole on one of Michigan’s trunklines? Here’s how to report it online. If your vehicle is damaged by a pothole on a trunkline, you may be eligible for damages.

The Birth of a Pothole

Potholes occur when snow and ice melt as part of Michigan's seasonal freeze-thaw cycles, according to information on the Michigan Department of Transportation web site. The resulting water then seeps beneath the pavement through cracks caused by the wear and tear of traffic, and as temperatures cool to freezing at night, the water becomes ice and expands below the pavement, forcing the pavement to rise.

As the cycle repeats and vehicles continues to drive over the raised section, the pavement buckles. See how a pothole is born.

Where are the potholes around town? Tell us about them in the comments and warn your neighbors.

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