Michigan DOT Explores Pothole Repair Process

How does Michigan DOT’s approach to pothole repairs compare to Hawaii’s approach?

Michigan DOT Explores Pothole Repair Process, Explains Repair Intent in Newest Reality Check Video

Michigan Department of Transportation this week released the next video in its “Transportation Reality Check” campaign, focusing on the pothole patching process and why patches are not able to be a permanent repair option for MDOT.

MDOT’s “Transportation Reality Check” campaign aims to dispel some popular transportation and MDOT myths through a series of online videos and fact sheets addressing various rumors Michigan citizens may have heard. Last month, the campaign covered transportation investment and the use of salt on roadways during winter weather (see related AASHTO Journal story here).

The newest video, which addresses “Myth #3—Fix potholes right the first time,” seeks to counter the idea that road crews simply throw asphalt in the potholes to fix them, not fixing them correctly and ultimately needing another quick fix. The video likens potholes to putting a Band-Aid on a gaping wound—it can slow the bleeding, but it does not account for a permanent fix and the wound will continue to bleed.

“Many think that pothole patches just don’t last because they’re not patched right the first time, and I can tell you from personal experience that’s not the case,” said MDOT Director Kirk Steudle in a statement. “MDOT, county and municipal crews are patching them as quickly as possible to reduce damages to vehicles, but a lasting fix will require much more.”

The video echoed Steudle’s sentiments.

“The best way to prevent potholes is to keep roads in better condition to start with. MDOT spends millions of dollars every year patching potholes,” according MDOT Communications Representative John Richard in the video. “But a lasting fix will require a far greater investment than we’re making now.”


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