Social Media Helping To Fix West Michigan Roads

Posted at 5:59 PM, Mar 05, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-05 18:56:36-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich– It’s nothing new, but it’s always a pain to deal with. Its pothole season here in West Michigan, and MDOT crews are out in force trying to keep up the roads.

“It starts to freeze; it melts the water gets in the road it expands. All the constant beating from the traffic, so this is definitely pothole season,” John Richard, communications representative for MDOT said.

On average, MDOT get about 6 complaints a week about potholes in the grand region, which includes Kent County and 7 other surrounding counties.

Richard says keeping up with this problem can be a little tricky. For years, MDOT has allowed people to use their website to report problems, but now they are utilizing Facebook and twitter.

“We get detailed information about all sorts of things, complaints, compliments, suggestions, anything. So with social media we get contacted and have one on one conversation with thousands of people all the time,” Richard said.

Richard says it’s really blown up over the last few years, with people sending them pictures and locations through social media, and even an app.

“I’m sure there are some that still make the phone calls, now-a-days it’s twitter, and it’s Facebook. We’ve got videos on Youtube, they get thousands of views all the time, the website gets hundreds of thousands of hits each month,” Richard said.

Richard says the money used on the highways goes to maintain the roads, not building new ones. Making it even more important for them to know where the problems are, so they can fix them.

“As soon as they fill that information our in our website, it generates an email and that goes to our maintenance coordinators. Then they go check it out and take care of it,” Richard said.