One Waldo County road took second place in a recent statewide contest, but drivers who regularly use the prize-winning route would not likely consider the distinction worthy of celebration.

That’s because the road, Route 141 in Swanville, was ranked second among the eight worst roads in Maine.

Additionally, a stretch of Route 220 from Washington to Thorndike was a runner-up in the contest that singled out some of Maine’s roughest routes.

The Maine Better Transportation Association’s first-ever “Worst Road in Maine” contest garnered entries from all over the state, with the driving force behind the competition being the association’s effort to raise public awareness about Maine’s deteriorating roads. According to the MBTA Web site, the contest was launched last spring and asked participants to submit their best photos or videos depicting the worst Maine roads. The MBTA Facebook page gained nearly 1,100 fans during the competition.

MBTA Executive Director Maria Fuentes said roads that are in poor condition pose safety risks and result in costly vehicle repairs for drivers who have no choice but to ride the roads that would otherwise be less traveled due to cracks, potholes or unsafe shoulders.

“A 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 in safety risks, lost mobility and business opportunity,” Fuentes stated.

Delbert and Mary Taylor Bunker nominated Route 141 in Swanville for the dubious title, earning that road a second-place ranking out the state’s eight most treacherous stretches.

As part of the contest submission, Taylor Bunker described Route 141 as a road that is “plagued with cracked, spider-webbed pavement, a bad shoulder and one very dangerous intersection.”

Coming in at one of five runner-up spots on the list of Maine’s worst roads was Route 220 from Washington to Thorndike, which was nominated by Laura Pepler Jade.

Contest judges awarded Route 219 from Turner to Leeds the title of “Maine’s Worst Road”; it was nominated by Martha and Roland Jordan. The Jordans’ contest submission earned them first prize, a $250 gift certificate for car repairs, after they sent in Martha Jordan’s story about a bent rim, busted tire and lost wheel bearing, all of which she incurred while traveling Route 219. The damage to her car resulted in a $1,000 vehicle repair bill.

“Martha’s experience may seem extreme, but it is a lot more common than most might imagine,” Fuentes said.

According to the MBTA, Maine has some of the worst roads in New England. Data from the Federal Highway Administration shows that 26 percent of Maine’s federal-aid highways have poor pavement. Roads in the Pine Tree State have apparently been on the decline for more than a decade, as in the mid-1990s, 5 percent of the state’s highways received a “poor” ranking from the FHA.

The eight roads highlighted in the “Worst Road in Maine” contest, stated Fuentes, are not the only ones that frustrate drivers with gaping potholes, widening cracks and crumbling asphalt.

“There 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 ‘Worst Road in Maine,’ but Martha’s 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,” said Fuentes.

The eight “Worst Road in Maine” are:

First prize: Route 219 in Turner, nominated by Martha and Roland Jordan
Second prize: Route 141 in Swanville, nominated by Delbert and Mary Taylor Bunker
Third prize: River Road/Route 115, nominated by John Mancini
Runner-up: College Street in Lewiston, nominated by Paul Beaudette
Runner-up: Forest Avenue in Orono, nominated by Peggy Leonard Markson
Runner-up: Route 43 from Hudson to Old Town, nominated by Faith Pineo
Runner-up: Route 220 from Washington to Thorndike, nominated by Laura Pepler Jade
Runner-up: Route 161 west of Fort Kent, nominated by Steve Rusnack