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Welcome To Pothole Heaven!

Michigan roads - ugh!



Welcome To Pothole Heaven!



For
travelers on Michigan’s roads it should come as no surprise that our state, in
my opinion, has become The Pothole Capital of the Western Hemisphere!  In addition to dodging orange construction
cones, deer, and the occasional jack-knifed eighteen wheeler, drivers in the
Mitten State have to somehow elude the thousands of potholes that dot the
roads.  And if you doubt the severity of
the problem just ask the owners of the various tire shops, or the workers at
any of the shock or strut shops in the state. 
Those businesses always realize an uptick in sales during this time of
the year as a result of the numerous potholes. 
Motorists are replacing blown out tires and bent struts as they
encounter one of the many cement orifices!



It’s been
said that Michigan has some of the most generous highway truck weight options
in the nation.  Some conjecture that the
cause of the numerous potholes can be attributed to the heavy laden trucks
damaging the roads.  Of course our Arctic
like winter weather also contributes to the problem.  On the other hand, neighboring states also
with winter weather woes such as Ohio and Indiana and Illinois seem to have
better roads. Could it be that the road contractors in those states do a better
job of constructing and maintaining the roads? 
Just asking.



At this
time of the year and in early Spring motorists in Michigan also encounter the
many road commission trucks that spread tar into the potholes.  Watching this event reminds me of an old
joke.  Seems two guys were working along a
highway – one of the workers was digging a hole – his companion then came along
and filled the hole with dirt.  After
about a half mile of this practice, a local farmer approached and asked for an
explanation.  One of the men responded
that the guy who normally plants a tree in the holes was out for the day so
they carried on despite his absence!



What does
this have to do with the pothole tar spreaders? 
Many years ago when workers toiled on the roads and filled the holes
with tar someone would use a metal tapper and pound the tar into the
holes.  These days the workers just
shovel the tar into the holes and depend on us driving our cars over the tar to
pat it down.  Of course this results in
tar flying all over the place and becoming lodged in our wheel wells.  Just like the absent tree planter, maybe the
tar tapper has been on leave!  Is it too
much to ask that someone pounds down the tar! Again, just asking.



So over the
next couple of months as you travel the highways and byways in Michigan be
prepared to have your car jolted along with your teeth chattering as you hit
one of the potholes.  If you survive
that, watch out for the orange traffic cones, an occasional deer, and a
jack-knifed eighteen wheeler.  Aah, pure
Michigan!



Bill Kalmar



 

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