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Mission: Find the Worst Road in Maine

AUGUSTA, Maine — Has a pothole popped your rim? Does rough pavement make the trip to work or school a funhouse ride? Tell the Maine Better Transportation Association about it and be eligible for a grand prize of $529.

The April weather plays havoc on pavement, and Maine’s state roads, highways and bridges have had it bad this year. The Maine Better Transportation Association wants residents to prove this by taking part in its “Worst Road in Maine Contest.”

The purpose of the contest is to get Maine drivers to consider the impact of potholes, ruts and cracking pavement on state highways, bridges and state-aid roads have on their everyday life. This year, the winner will receive the $529 grand prize — that is the amount researchers have estimated that every Maine resident pays in extra maintenance, repairs and accident costs due to bad roads. The statewide total is $541 million.

“This winter has been brutal on Maine roads, and it really highlights just how far behind we have gotten in maintaining them as well as we should be,” said Maine Better Transportation Association President Pat Sughrue. “The fact is, the longer we delay in fixing our roads, the more money it costs drivers every day in extra car repairs, gasoline, time and frustration.”

According to the most recent Maine Infrastructure Report Card issued by the Maine Section, ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers), approximately 18 percent of Maine highways — or 1,530 out of 8,645 miles of state highway — are rated  poor or worse.

To make progress fixing Maine’s highways, state-aid roads and bridges, it has been estimated the state needs more than $100 million in additional highway funding beyond the money raised by the gas tax, voter approved bonds and other funding sources.

“The potholes that are tearing our cars apart this year are a big reminder that we need to be doing something to fix our roads,” said Sughrue. “Too often, we think we are saving money by not addressing the funding problem, but in truth, we are just shifting the cost — in terms of safety hazards and increased maintenance costs — to the individual driver.”

The contest will continue until May 1, 2019 at midnight EDT. For this year’s contest, the association is focusing on state highways, bridges and state-aid roads. No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter or win this contest. To enter, please complete a contest entry form including the route number and town/city where the bad section of road is located, a brief story or description of how this bad road has had a negative impact and submit a photo at www.fixmaineroads.org or at fixmaineroads@mbtaonline.org. Contest rules are also available on the MBTAonline.org web site.

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