AUGUSTA — April is the cruelest month, as the weather warms and potholes pop up on local roads and highways like crocuses in the garden. The Maine Better Transportation Association has launched its annual rite of spring, the "Worst Road in Maine" contest.
The purpose of the contest is to get Maine drivers to consider the impact potholes, ruts and cracking pavement have on their everyday life. This year, everyone who completes an entry will receive a bright orange bumper sticker and the winner will receive the $296 grand prize, which is the amount Mainers pay in extra maintenance and repair costs due to bad roads, according to TRIP, a Washington, D.C.-based transportation research organization.
The contest is currently underway and will continue until Friday, May 15 at midnight.
Maine Better Transportation Association President Jim Hanley said in a news release: "According to MaineDOT, we should be spending between $120 and $150 million more every year on repairing our roads and bridges, and every day we delay, our roads get rougher. That creates safety issues and costs every driver in the state in increased car repair and maintenance.
"This contest really is an opportunity for Maine drivers to vent their frustration with rough roads — and to have a little fun.”
Last year's winner, Gabriel Zacchai, won for his harrowing account of a trip on Route 15 from Blue Hill to Stonington.
According to MaineDOT and Federal Highway Administration data, Maine has 989 miles of highway in 'poor' or worse condition, 789 bridges rated structurally deficient or functionally obsolete and 906 miles of highways ranked 'poor' or worse for safety.
The 2015 Worst Road in Maine contest ends on May 15 at midnight EDT. No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter or win this contest.
To enter, 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.