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Letter: Let’s seek long-term transportation solution in Minnesota

It seems there is quite a bit of hype lately about the amount of potholes that are emerging from this past winter. I am sure everyone has a highway or street in mind that they have to carefully maneuver to avoid them. While most know potholes are caused by frequent freeze/thaw cycles that cause loss of support for the pavement surface; there is another cause that is far too overlooked. It is the underinvestment in our aging pavements. 

While this winter may appear longer than most, it’s no coincidence that the potholes are more frequent. MnDOT reports that 50 percent of state highway pavements are more than 50 years old and Minnesota is ranked 38th nationally for pavement condition. Unfortunately, without additional revenues in the Highway Fund, potholes will continue to be on the rise. 

As Minnesotans it seems we take pothole season for granted. If we get a bent rim, broken shock or need a front end alignment after hitting one we might curse a bit but then shell out the couple hundred bucks and move on. Rather than spending that money at the mechanic shop we would be better off putting it toward a long term pavement fix for that road. 

Potholes don’t have to be a normal routine for spring. Contact your legislators and tell them we need increased long-term funding for our transportation infrastructure. Tell them you want long lasting project solutions, not just shovel by shovel temporary fixes. 

John Brunkhorst 

Minnesota County Engineers Association (MCEA) President