Driving the cracked and frost-heaved courses of Route 141 in Swanville isn’t any more fun this year than it was last year, but residents might take some perverse pleasure in knowing that the road is no longer considered the second worst in the state.

When the results of the Maine Better Transportation Association’s second annual “Worst Road in Maine” contest were released this week, Route 141 was at the top of the list.

As in, number one. Worst.

The stretch of the state highway that passes through Swanville was nominated by Carol Kelley of Waldo, who also suggested Routes 131 and 137. In a press release, MBTA President Randy Mace said Kelley’s inclusion of the experience of her disabled son was what caught the judges’ attention.

“Her son, she wrote, has a spinal rod and his shouts of pain when she hits a rough patch are her ‘gauge’ for road conditions,” said Mace. “The Kelley family’s story is a powerful one and a reminder of just how much bad roads affect the lives of many Mainers.”

This year’s contest drew twice as many entries as the inaugural contest last year, according to MBTA Executive Director Maria Fuentes, who said bad roads are a significant and growing problem for Maine residents and businesses.

“The truth is bad roads cause a great deal of pain – whether it is physical, financial, greater safety risks, lost mobility or business opportunity. Bad roads have a profound effect on our daily lives,” she said.

Ten other roads were singled out as being among the worst in Maine, representing Aroostook, Cumberland, Hancock, Lincoln, Kennebec, Sagadahoc and Washington counties.

For her winning entry, Kelley received a $250 check for car repairs — the amount the average Mainer pays in added vehicle maintenance costs due to bad roads, according to MBTA.

The Kelleys’ repairs have not been typical. Carol told MBTA her family has spent $1,100 to add special springs to the van to help ease Michael’s ride. The family also requested that Michael be transferred to a high school on a better road in a different town (he graduated from Belfast Area High School this spring after Kelley entered the contest).

This year, two of the roads on Carol Kelley’s list of Waldo County bad roads were slated by MaineDOT to receive maintenance surface paving, so many of Michael’s rides around his hometown have improved. “Routes 131 and 137 are much better, but Route 141 is still pretty rough going,” said Kelley.

A stretch of Route 220 from Washington to Thorndike that made the runner-up list last year was not among the official winners of this year’s competition, and no other roads in Waldo County were officially called out.

MBTA describes Maine as having “some of the worst roads in the country, with thousands of highway miles built in the first half of the last century that have not been modernized.”

A report from The Road Information Program released in August placed Maine’s rural roads as the 14th worst in the nation and its rural bridges as the 12th worst.

According to MBTA the MaineDOT used “skinny mix” to repave 620 miles of Maine’s worst roads, including some that were nominated for this year’s contest. By comparison, the state is able to fully reconstruct only 28 miles of highway this year.

“Skinny mix is a last resort for many of these roads that are literally crumbling in front of our eyes,” said Mace. “MaineDOT deserves credit for knowing which roads are the worst ones and for stretching a dollar wherever they can. But we really need to be reconstructing these roads to modern standards with better drainage and improved safety. Otherwise they will just be back on everyone’s ‘Worst Roads’ list in just a few years’ time.”