Cold weather creates pothole problems in Michigan

January 14, 2014 — It’s not spring yet, but a mid-January warm-up brought with it a bumper crop of potholes across Michigan. If you spot a pothole on an I-, US- or M-route, you can report it to the Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) Pothole Hotline.

Motorists in Michigan can report potholes on state highways in three ways: calling the Pothole Hotline at 888-296-4546; clicking the “Report a Pothole” link in the Spotlight section at; or by calling your local MDOT Transportation Service Center (TSC) or region office.

“The quicker we know about where potholes are forming, the sooner we can get them patched,” said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. “Patching them won’t last, but will help get us through until warmer weather returns.”

Potholes are most prevalent during freeze/thaw cycles, when water penetrates the pavement surface and refreezes, pushing the pavement up. Vehicles then push the pavement back down, breaking it and starting a pothole.

“Extended winters and aging pavements result in more potholes on Michigan roads, and increased costs to keeping our roads in good shape,” Steudle said.
Those reporting pothole locations are asked to provide the route name (M, I or US designation), the county, the nearest community, and the closest cross street or interchange. Potholes on non-state roads should be reported to local road commissions since MDOT does not have jurisdiction over roads that are not part of the state system.