The intersection of James and Northwest Fifth streets in Brainerd was determined the worst pothole in Crow Wing County by participants in The Dispatch's pothole contest.
Out of 22 nominations, the James and Northwest Fifth Street potholes were nominated five times. Rounding out the top five worst potholes were the Beech Street potholes, with three nominations; the potholes on Northwest Fourth and Laurel Streets, with two nominations; potholes along all of Oak Street with two nominations; and potholes near the North Star Apartments on East River Road, also receiving two nominations.
Contestants also let their opinions be known about their choice for worst pothole. One caller said, "You could lose a child in one of those potholes," referring to the potholes at Northwest Fourth and Laurel streets.
Another caller said, "I went fishing in it this morning but I didn't catch no fish. My boat is still stuck in the hole," referring to Beech Street. Another caller said fingerlings could survive and swim the length of Oak Street.
There is hope, however. Aside from city crews working to fill the holes on a daily basis, part of the city's improvement project this summer calls for the complete rehabilitation of the intersections of Northwest Fourth and Laurel streets, and Northwest Fifth and James streets.
Jeff Hulsether, Brainerd city engineer, said those two intersections will be cut out, the base reshaped and the road repaved.
Though the winners of the contest were all located in Brainerd, worst pothole nominations were received for a variety of sites in Crow Wing County, including sites in Nisswa and near the Brainerd-Crow Wing County Regional Airport.
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