Watch CBS News

Tired Of Potholes, Hamtramck Residents Buy Cold Patch, Take Repairs Into Their Own Hands

By Christy Strawser

HAMTRAMCK (CBS Detroit) Tired of the potholes that make some roads nearly impassable, a group of Hamtramck residents are taking matters into their own hands.

Six residents in one of the poorest communities in Michigan got together and purchased 900 pounds of cold patch and spent a recent steamy July day on Lumpkin Road, pounding it in themselves.

There's also a gofundme page devoted to raising more cash to help keep the pothole-fixing momentum going. Nearly $800 has been raised in the last two days. According to, the median household income in Hamtramck is $25,225.

"Everyone who lives in or has been through Hamtramck recently knows how much help our roads need," the organizer of the online fundraiser wrote. "The city is doing what they can with the major roads but unfortunately does not have funding to fix a lot of the pot holes in the residential streets. That's where we come in."

She added the cold patch has made one thoroughfare "look and feels more like a proper street rather than the surface of the moon."

"Are you tired of dodging craters on your route? Then consider helping us out, any donation you can make would be appreciated and used solely to fund materials needed for patching," she added.

Another volunteer road patching event is planned for August 8 and 9.

Crumbling roads are a statewide problem that has lawmakers scrambling for a solution that will appeal to taxpayers. Gov. Rick Snyder's plan to pay for roads with a combination of things including a sales tax hike failed with voters this spring. It was rejected by 80 percent of people who cast a ballot.

Meanwhile, a University of Michigan study earlier this year found nearly 80 percent of officials across the state's 1,856 local governments believe road funding from the state has to increase by at least 50 percent to maintain roads.

The study found fewer than one in five local leaders thought their roads were in good condition, and 25 percent consider the road condition to be poor.

But who would volunteer their time to trudge along a roadway dumping pounds of patch into ugly road? The idea has fans.

"AWESOME IDEA!! There's a huge one by my house, its deep enough for the whole wheel to disappear, they are so dangerous!" Anastasia Beavenhouser wrote on the gofundme page.

Local news website the Hamtramck Review has covered the pothole issue extensively -- and it is an ongoing saga.

The site found today that repairs that were scheduled by the Department of Public Works have been delayed.

It's explained this way: "In the apparently never-ending twist and turn of potholes in Hamtramck, the city now has a brand new contract to get repairs going again after state officials put a halt to it over some technicality that may or may not have been true.

"Now the only hold-up is for those very same state officials — who are part of what's called a Transition Advisory Board that overlooks all financial decisions made here in Hamtramck – to give their blessing to the new contract."

The hometown news site urged residents to "keep dodging those holes."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.