Maine Trails, Feb - Mar '12
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‘Worst Road’ contest underway
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‘Worst Road’ contest underway

3rd annual contest asks Mainers to tell how bad roads impact their daily lives

The MBTA’s annual “Worst Road in Maine Contest” has become a sure sign of spring. As the weather warms and potholes spring up on local roads and highways like crocuses in garden, we ask Maine drivers to consider the impact potholes, ruts and cracking pavement have on their every day life.
The contest kicked off in late March and will continue until May 15 at midnight. The purpose of the contest 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 Maine Better Transportation Association Executive Director Maria Fuentes: “A recent study shows the average Mainer pays $250 a year in added vehicle maintenance costs due to bad roads, but the truth is there is a greater cost in safety risks, lost mobility and business opportunity.”
Last year, Carol Kelley of Waldo sent in the winning entry – Routes 131, 137 and 141 in Waldo County. She wrote about how rough roads made travel to the doctor and school painful for her son who has a spinal rod. The family had to invest $1,000 in special springs to help ease the ride. Entries from Aroostook, Cumberland, Hancock, Lincoln, Kennebec, Sagadahoc and Washington counties also were recognized among the runners up.
Currently only 68 percent of major state highways meet MaineDOT standards of fair or better for safety, condition and service. Only 57 percent of Maine’s Priority 3 public roads meet that standard. According to estimates of the 2012 Measures of Growth report by the Maine Economic Development Council, Maine needs to spend an additional $150 million to begin to meet state targets for road condition and service levels.
FMI: The 2012 Worst Road in Maine contest ends on May 15 at midnight Eastern Time. No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter or win this contest. To enter, please complete a contest entry form and submit a photo at For full contest rules and other information, visit or


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