Pothole problems getting worse as funds fall short

Posted at 10:32 PM, Jun 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-28 22:41:59-04

MARSHALL, Mich. -- There are too many potholes and not enough money to fix them, according to road officials.

It's a problem many counties in West Michigan are facing, and they're now waiting for the state to fill the void. Christopher Bolt, the managing director for both Calhoun County Road Department and Jackson County Department of Transportation, tells FOX 17 the problem is so extensive that the road departments only hope to keep the current pothole problem from getting worse.

"The roads are falling apart faster than we can fix them, that's the truth," Bolt said.

Instead of fixing the problem, Bolt says a lack of funds is forcing crews to merely spray paint around the holes to warn drivers of the hazards.

State representatives approved the new road funding bill in December 2015. But local governments are yet to see any new revenue.

"I haven’t received even the first dollar from that bill, and I won’t get it until next March of 2017," said Bolt, "and we really need that funding now. We needed it yesterday, and we needed it 10 years ago."

In the meantime, counties like Calhoun and Jackson are pinching pennies. "We're patching potholes more aggressively than ever before, but we're fighting a losing battle," Bolt said.

Residents FOX 17 spoke to said road conditions are annoying and becoming more of a safety concern.

The Pure Michigan Potholes Facebook page is dedicated to potholes in Calhoun County, giving residents a place to voice their concerns, post pictures, and push for change.