Winter thaw equals Mich. pothole season
LANSING – The Michigan Department of Transportation has a claims process for motorists whose vehicles have been damaged by hitting a pothole on a state trunkline, but certain conditions apply.
First, the pothole must be located on a state trunkline. A state trunkline is a highway with an M, I or US prefix, like M-1, I-75 and US-131. MDOT only has jurisdiction over state trunklines. Other roads are under the jurisdiction of counties, cities or villages.
Additionally, to prove a highway defect claim, state law requires a motorist to show that the road agency failed to maintain the highway in reasonable repair. The motorist must show that MDOT knew of the condition and had an opportunity to repair it, or that the condition existed for more than 30 days. Few claims are eligible for payment because potholes develop quickly.
A claim form and instructions are available on the MDOT website at: http://www.michigan.gov/ mdot/0,4616,7-151-9615_ 30883- 93194--,00.html.
Claims for less than $1,000 must be submitted to the MDOT regional office or transportation service center that covers the county where the incident occurred. MDOT regional offices and TSCs can be located on the MDOT website at: http://www.michigan.gov/ mdot/0,4616,7-151-9623-36042-- ,00.html.
If a claim is for $1,000 or more, it must be filed with the Michigan Court of Claims in Lansing. Contact information for the court is available on the pothole claims page on the MDOT website.
OKEMOS, Mich. – Michigan motorists can get a little revenge on potholes that have caused damage to their vehicles and their wallets by entering a Pothole Pocketbook Contest at justfixtheroads.com/ contest to win up to $500 toward vehicle repair costs.
“Michigan’s extreme winter weather is breaking up our roads and bridges, and so is a continued decline in adequate funding,” said Lance Binoniemi, vice president of government affairs for the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association, which is sponsoring the contest. “This contest will help to make things easier for a few lucky motorists – but the only real way to reduce the high cost of bad roads for everyone is for the Legislature to invest in our roads and bridges now to save lives and money.”
Michigan motorists in key urban areas pay between $305- $536 annually in unnecessary vehicle repairs due to poor roads, according to a January 2014 report by TRIP, a national transportation research group. According to TRIP, bad roads cost Michigan drivers $2.3 billion per year in unnecessary vehicle repairs. If you also factor in additional costs related to congestion and safety, that figure rises to $7.7 billion per year.
The Pothole Pocketbook Contest is open to all Michigan-licensed drivers aged 18 or older, who have endured vehicle repairs caused by bad roads since January 2014. MITA will announce winners on March 3, March 10, March 17, March 24 and March 31. For more information, visit www.mi-ita.com, orwww.justfixtheroads.com.