Ohio Woman Bills Government for Gas Wasted in Traffic Delay

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An Ohio woman wants the Michigan Department of Transportation to pay her $16 for gas after she says unannounced highway construction left her idling in traffic and wasting fuel for nearly an hour.

Carol Greenberg sent Michigan transportation officials her bill, which she claims is justified because there were no warning signs about the roadwork on southbound Interstate 275 near Newport, Mich., and north of Toledo, Ohio.

Her Maine coon cat, Sammy, yowled during the entire 50-minute delay on July 23 after a visit to a Detroit-area vet, according to Greenberg, who was returning to her home in the suburbs of Toledo.

"Thousands of vehicles from both Interstates, including mine, sat an estimated 50 minutes, wasting thousands of dollars worth of $4-per-gallon gasoline, belching tons of emissions into the atmosphere," Greenberg wrote in her letter to MDOT.

Rob Morosi, an MDOT spokesman in Detroit, said the construction zone was set up hastily to do emergency repairs on the road, and there wasn't time to notify motorists in advance, according to the Toledo Blade.

He said he'd never heard of a case where a driver billed the transportation department for gas.

"We usually get damage claims about stones kicked up from the roadway or overspray from painting," Morosi told the Blade. "I have never heard of anyone being compensated for the loss of gasoline."

Click here for more on this story from the Toledo Blade.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.