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Your Washtenaw County Pothole Questions Answered

Find out what causes potholes, what the Road Commission is doing about them and how you can make a report. Have you seen a nasty one around Saline? Leave a comment!

The Washtenaw County Road Commission said this week's wild weather has wreaked havoc on the roadways and spawned numerous potholes.

Saline Patch readers would agree.

Several people posted comments on the Saline Facebook page when we asked Wednesday about the worst potholes around town.

  • Heidi McClelland: Heritage Elementary School loop
  • David Lawton: Saline milan rd all the way down
  • Michael Armitage: Platt near Merritt
  • Cynthia Stauder: Brassaw

The snowstorm that blew threw beginning Sunday night kept WCRC crews busy with winter maintenance Monday and Tuesday before they got a reprieve to patch potholes Wednesday. They were back to winter maintenance Thursday after a fresh snowfall, WCRC Superintendent of Maintenance Aaron Berkholz said Friday.

"There's still pothole patching that needs to be done and we're trying to fit that in with the winter maintenance activities we're doing," he said.

Reporting a pothole

Motorists can report potholes to the Washtenaw County Road Commission by calling 734-761-1500 during normal business hours, 734-668-3282 after normal business hours or via email at wcrc@wcroads.org.

Not sure which roadways the commission maintains? Here's the scoop from Berkholz and the WCRC website.

  • The Road Commission takes care of county roads and state trunk lines.
  • The Michigan Department of Transportation contracts the Road Commission to maintain the state trunk lines, which include Interstate 94, US-23, US-12 (Michigan Avenue), M-14, M-52, M-17 (Washtenaw Avenue), M-153 (Ford Road connected to M-14), Ecorse Road and the Willow Run bypass.
  • Each municipality handles its own roads. Saline residents can report potholes to the Department of Public Works at 734-429-5624.

Visit the Washtenaw County Road Commission website for more information on winter maintenance.

Why all the potholes?

Temperatures this week that have fluctuated from below freezing to nearly 60 degrees and back down into the teens, coupled with copious precipitation, have exacerbated road problems, Berkholz said.

"Those extreme fluctuations in temperature have certainly caused the generation of many potholes on area roads," he said. "Rain gets into areas that have been previously patched, freezes and expands. (Potholes) have been widespread."

Fortunately, Berkholz said the work so far has been within the Road Commission's budget, which includes $65,000 for approximately 1,000 tons of cold patching materials used in the winter.

[Where have you experienced a nasty pothole? Leave a comment or upload a photo!]

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