AUGUSTA ‚Äď In the end, it was Martha Jordan‚Äôs frustration and dangerous encounter with a particularly bad pothole that got the attention of judges and won her entry ‚Äď Route 219 from Turner to Leeds ‚Äď the dubious title of ‚ÄúWorst Road in Maine.‚ÄĚ Jordan‚Äôs photos and her story of a bent rim, busted tire, lost wheel bearing and $1,000 repair bill comprised one of many entries from all corners of the state.
‚ÄúMartha‚Äôs experience may seem extreme, but it is a lot more common than most might imagine,‚ÄĚ said Maine Better Transportation Association Executive Director Maria Fuentes. ‚ÄúA 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 ‚Äď including safety risks and lost mobility and business opportunity.‚ÄĚ
Jordan and her husband Roland won the top prize in the contest ‚Äď a $250 gift certificate for car repair. Mary Taylor Bunker of Swanville won second prize for her entry, Route 141 in Swanville, a road she described as plagued with cracked, spider-webbed pavement, a bad shoulder and one very dangerous intersection. John Mancini of Gorham won third prize for his photos of River Road/Route 115, a road he has traveled for more than 30 years and seen deteriorate and grow more dangerous every year. Other runners up cited roads in Lewiston, Orono, Hudson, Washington and Fort Kent.
‚ÄúThere are a lot of roads in Maine that are badly in need of reconstruction or repair. The truth is, any one of these eight roads could have been the ‚ÄėWorst road in Maine,‚Äô but Martha‚Äôs story and photos really speak to the frustration and financial hardship that bad roads cause every day on the way to work or taking the kids to school,‚ÄĚ said Fuentes.
FixMaineRoads.org and the ‚ÄúWorst Road in Maine‚ÄĚ contest are part of a public awareness campaign by the Maine Better Transportation Association. Maine has some of the worst roads in New England. Currently, 26 percent of Maine‚Äôs federal-aid highways have poor pavement, according to an analysis of recent data from the Federal Highway Administration. And Maine‚Äôs roads have been declining for more than a decade. In the mid-1990s, only 5 percent of the state‚Äôs highways were ranked ‚Äúpoor.‚ÄĚ
The Fix Maine Roads Facebook page (www.facebook/FixMaineRoads) earned nearly 1,100 fans.
For more information about the winning/worst roads and MBTA‚Äôs advocacy efforts to promote safer, more efficient transportation in Maine, visit FixMaineRoads.org or www.mbtaonline.org.
Contact Name: Maria Fuentes
Telephone Number: (207)592-0227