In a Wednesday statement, Whitmer said she was directing the state to expedite repairs through overtime pay and contractors.
“Dealing with car damage from driving over potholes on your way to work or school is frustrating for every Michigander. No family should have to spend their hard-earned cash fixing a flat tire or broken axle caused by these potholes,” Whitmer said.
“I will continue to work with anyone to fix these goddamn roads, make lasting investments in our infrastructure, and put Michigan first.”
Most years, Michigan spends between $6 million and $7 million annually to patch approximately 400,000 potholes. This is in addition to those that counties and local communities repair.
State director of transport Paul Ajegba said the best defense against potholes is regular road maintenance and replacement, which requires significant funding.
“When we’re not clearing the roads from the last storm, our crews will fix potholes as quickly as possible,” he said.
Michigan is ranked 10th among states for having the worst road conditions. Michigan’s Senate Tax Agency estimates it will cost $2 billion a year to fix the state’s roads.
More than a third of Michigan’s roads are considered in poor or poor condition, and a 2019 study claimed that poor roads cost drivers an additional $648 per year in repairs.
Whitmer promised to ‘fix those goddamn roads’ when she campaigned in 2018, but failed in her push to raise the gas tax by 45 cents a gallon to raise an additional $2.5 billion a year .
Instead, she scaled back her plans, issuing bonds to pay for repairs and investing some $4 billion during her tenure to fix more than 13,000 miles of roads.
This year, Whitmer has proposed $6.3 billion to repair state and local roads, bridges, airports, public transit and rail programs.