Melting Snow Exposing Trash; MDOT Focused on Potholes

Posted at 7:08 PM, Mar 19, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-19 22:09:35-04

WEST MICHIGAN — Melting snow is exposing trash beneath snowbanks around West Michigan.

The same thing is happening along Michigan’s highways. It’s been widely reported that the state’s road funding is lax and has been for years.

John Richard with the Michigan Department of Transportation said the winter and summer maintenance budgets are one in the same. This winter got good use.

“Our budget has been so tight, we’re not even thinking about trash pickup right now, anything that we do right now it’s going to be maintenance or road preservation,” Richard said.

Patching potholes and fixing the cable guardrails take priority.

Richard said the Michigan Department of Corrections contracts with the Kent County Road Commission to hire a work crew from the jail to pick up trash along the highway.

There’s also the Adopt-A-Highway program where groups volunteer to clean stretches of the interstate three times a year.

Before MDOT can beautify the greenery, it needs the green.

“It’s really a uphill battle for the DOT as well as the cities and the villages and the road commissions because everyone’s lacking in funding.”

FOX 17 called the city of Grand Public Services Department to find out if it has a plan to clean the streets.  But as of now, we haven’t heard back from them.