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Route 15 named "Worst Road in Maine," improvements planned

BLUE HILL — The Maine Department of Transportation is designing a project to improve an especially bumpy 7.5-mile stretch of Route 15 from Orland to Blue Hill.

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BLUE HILL — The Maine Department of Transportation is designing a project to improve an especially bumpy 7.5-mile stretch of Route 15 from Orland to Blue Hill. Related Posts New Emergency Management Agency Director Appointed Blue Hill Roundabout Construction to Start in 2013 MDOT Tenney Hill Hearing Is May 23 A group of Blue Hill Peninsula municipalities, businesses and residents called Fix 15 met with MDOT officials Thursday at the Blue Hill town office. Incidentally, on Tuesday, the Maine Better Transportation Association crowned Route 15 “Worst Road in Maine for 2014.” DOT engineer Sean Davis met with town officials, including Blue Hill Selectman Jim Schatz, Penobscot Selectmen Stan Shorey and Paul Bowen, Brooklin Selectman Lori Gallo, Sedgwick Selectman Neil Davis, Stonington Selectman Ben Barrows and Stonington Town Manager Kathleen Billings-PezarisJohn Wardwell of Lane Construction and SenBrian Langley (R-Hancock County) also attended. “It’s very important to note that while we’re having our design moving forth very rapidly, this project is still awaiting funding,” Davis said“I expect that will be sooner rather than laterIt simply comes down to when the money becomes available.” Davis said he has been examining that particular stretch of Route 15 and said it looks like the outside edges of the road, including the shoulders, have material underneath that aren’t sustainable for the traffic that road receives. A plan to fix the road would include excavating the roadway 5 to 7 feet from the centerline to the shoulderCrews would put new gravel down then put a base pavement on top of the new gravel to match the saved pavement in the middle of the roadway, Davis saidThe DOT would then resurface the entire width of the road. Davis said the material underneath the shoulders has inadvertently trapped water beneath the roadway. “We want that water that infiltrates the pavement to flow out to the ditches,” the engineer saidBecause the water can’t get out, “when you have a winter like last winter, it freezes and it lifts those shouldersIf that happens too many times, the soil beneath the road never recovers.” Businesses, residents, fire departments and ambulance services from Orland to Stonington suffered last winter from frost heaves, potholes, ridges and more on Route 15. Area municipalities held a forum with DOT officials and legislators last winter featuring a couple hours of testimony about lost business and safety issues due to the crumbling roadway. Back to the crown for worst road, a Camden resident had written to the Maine Better Transportation Association about a harrowing ride he took from Blue Hill to Stonington. “As a 42-year-old native Mainer, I can say with absolute certainty that this is the worst paved road I have ever tried to move a car over in my life,” wrote Gabriel Zacchai“I thought the front end of the car was going to come off.” Bio Latest Posts Jennifer OsbornReporter and columnist at The Ellsworth AmericanNews Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-StoningtonShe welcomes tips and story ideasShe also writes the Gone Shopping columnEmail Jennifer with your suggestions at or call 667-2576. Latest posts by Jennifer Osborn (see all) Hancock County Sheriff: Motorist arrested for OUI during snowstorm - February 5, 2015 Sheriff’s deputy promoted to lieutenant - February 4, 2015 Woman, 44, struck by car while cross-country skiing - February 2, 2015, {responsive: true}); Support LocalLaser Alignment Special! $49.95 Front End/ $69.95 Four wheelNo long waits! Call for your appointment 667-7479Jim's AutoOur policy is your protection.At the Holmes Agency we will evaluate your your insurance needs and secure the best coverage at a fair price.Holmes AgencyProviding Excellence in DesignFor Residential and Commercial Clients In Downeast Maine and beyondCall Today 207-801-4000 Fraser Associates Architects, PC, {responsive: true}); Top StoriesAll posts New wind farm offers big bucks to Osborn February 5, 2015 Furnace fumes sicken family February 4, 2015 Time Warner made its case to legislators at a luxury resort February 4, 2015 Our Websites MDIslander.comAbout Us Calendar Business DirectoryHelp Wanted Rental Listings Real Estate View & Purchase Photos Send Us Your… Submit a wedding or engagement Submit an obituary Submit a photo Submit news Submit a calendar event Submit a classified ad Contact Advertising American News Islander News Circulation Accounting Internet Services Editorial Contact Us Subscriptions Access your Ellsworth American digital edition   Access your Mount Desert Islander digital edition   Subscribe

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