Driving in southeast Michigan lately can sometimes feel like a game of Asteroids. The only difference is motorists are dodging holes in the pavement, not space rocks.
If you think this year feels a little more jarring than normal, you might be right.
The pothole hotline operated by the Michigan Department of Transportation has already received 505 calls this year, according to MDOT spokesperson Diane Cross. Last year, MDOT received 299 calls to its hotline by April. The year before it was 215.
Cross says MDOT is working hard at filling the holes, including work on I-696 between I-94 and I-75; northbound and southbound Telegraph between Long Lake and Orchard Lake; eastbound I-696 between US-24 and I-94; westbound I-696 from Dequindre to US-24; and I-75 between 12 Mile and Coolidge.
Cross says funding is an issue.
“Our maintenance budget, that’s already been exceeded for the year,” Cross said. “Before we even got to the potholes and the emergency repair.”
Cross said that they’ve had to develop an emergency repair contract for $5 million to repair I-75 in Oakland County, I-696 in Oakland and Macomb counties; and Telegraph in Oakland County. Cross said it’s too soon to know whether the $5 million will be enough to cover the extensive damage of this harsh winter.