Spring is definitely here in Maine, you can tell because of the nasty potholes and frost heaves so big that you spill your morning coffee on the way to work!

The Maine Better Transportation Association’s “Worst Road in Maine Contest” has become a sure sign of spring. As the weather warms and potholes pop up on local roads and highways like crocuses, we ask Maine drivers to consider the impact potholes, ruts and cracking pavement have on their everyday life.

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This year, everyone who completes an entry will receive a bright orange bumper sticker, and the winner will receive the $296 grand prize. That is the amount Mainers pay in extra maintenance and repair costs due to bad roads, according to a recent study by The Road Information Program, a Washington, D.C.-based transportation research organization.

The contest is currently underway and will continue until May 15th at midnight. The purpose is to raise awareness of the personal cost of bad roads, whether it is in increased vehicle maintenance costs, safety risks, lost travel time or other impacts.
In some cases, the cost is measurable.

According to MaineDOT and Federal Highway Administration data, 46 percent of the state’s principal arterials had poor pavement compared to 32 percent nationally; 66 percent of the state’s minor arterials are “poor” compared to 48 percent nationally; and 91 percent of the state’s rural major collectors were poor, compared to 67 percent nationally. Data also shows that accidents occur more frequently on rough roads – between 13 and 75 percent more often, depending on the type of state road.

The 2014 Worst Road in Maine contest ends at midnight on May 15th. To enter, please complete a contest entry form and submit a photo at www.FixMaineRoads.org. News and information about the contest also will be posted at www.Facebook.com/FixMaineRoads.