Decision near in MBTA’s ‘Worst Road in Maine’ contest
So far, the contest launched by MBTA earlier this year earned nearly 1,100 Facebook fans from across the state. It also has cast the media spotlight on the issue of Maine’s crumbling roads
Routes 1 and 191 in Washington County and Route 115 in Gray were nominated multiple times. So was River Road in Windham. The nominations for the MBTA’s first annual “Worst Road in Maine” contest came from almost every corner of the state.
“Then there was Dexter Road in Cambridge, submitted by a driver who sent photos of grass growing from cracks in the pavement. The diversity of the entries and the level of frustration expressed by drivers underscored the critical need we have to fix Maine’s roads,” said MBTA Executive Director Maria Fuentes.
“Bad roads are a major concern for Mainers, and that shows by how fast our fan base grew over the course of the contest,” said Fuentes. “We even had people nominate all of the roads in their towns.”
Maine, in fact, has some of the worst roads and bridges in the region: 26 percent of the state’s federal-aid highways have poor pavement. That’s up from just 5 percent poor pavement in the 1990s.
The contest was launched during early spring 2010 and entries were due by May 18. To enter the contest, drivers were required to submit either a photo or video of the bad road and a brief description of why the road was so bad. Contest rules were posted on a special contest web site (www.FixMaineRoads.org
) and many entries were submitted via MBTA’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/FixMaineRoads
MBTA is currently verifying the entries and plans to announce the winner and two runners up in early June. Photos poured in during the final two weeks of the contest, thanks to a spate of news coverage on the state’s TV news channels and daily newspapers. News of the contest was even picked up in USA Today.
The winner will receive a $250 gift certificate for car repair. “That happens to be the amount a recent study said Mainers pay in extra vehicle repair costs due to bad roads,” said Fuentes.