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      Transportation Dept. expected to exceed budget by about $40M

      MDOT officials estimate they will exceed their budget by about $40 million.

      Officials from the Michigan Department of Transportation say crews are working hard to stay on top of potholes.

      They say the sub-zero temperatures and near-record snowfall are not only putting a strain on Michigan roads, but also on the MDOT budget.

      "Our maintenance budget for this winter is $88 million, based on the five-year winter average," said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. "Due to the severe winter weather, we're expecting to exceed that budget by about $40 million."

      That budget includes plowing, salting, filling potholes, mowing and removing trash from state roads.

      Officials say crews have been at work filling potholes during the freeze-thaw cycles. The freeze-thaw cycles, where moisture from snow melted by salt seeps into pavement then expands when frozen are the main culprit of the potholes, officials say.

      MDOT is encouraging the public to report potholes they find on state roads through their website. They also remind the public that potholes on local roads can be reported to county road commissions or local public works departments.