April 26, 2018
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Crumbling School Road in Charleston not on summer schedule for repairs

By Alex Barber, BDN Staff

CHARLESTON, Maine — School Road on Route 11A, a focal point of complaints from residents for years, is not slated for major repairs this year, a spokesman for the Maine Department of Transportation said Friday.

“I think [the road is] a mess. It’s been a mess for years,” Charleston Selectman Richard Goodwin said. “It’s just plain rough and the state’s neglecting us.”

School Road, located between Route 15 and Main Road, is about 2 miles long. It was the subject of a complaint of the See it Fix it feature on the Bangor Daily News website.

“We have numerous complaints and have for quite a few years now,” Selectman Teri Lynn Hall said. “It’s beyond horrific. People deliberately avoid traveling that road if at all possible.”

Hall said the road is broken apart and there are many potholes and heaves.

Despite complaints, it is not on the schedule for major repairs this year, Maine DOT spokesman Ted Talbot said.

“It’s not on our current capital work plan for this summer,” Talbot said on Friday. “But it doesn’t mean it won’t be worked on or at least a resurfacing.”

Hall said the road needs more than cosmetic repairs — it needs an overhaul.

“If they plan to resurface it, they need a good base on it or it will be wasted tax dollars. We need to start with a good surface before you hot-top it again,” Hall said, noting that the road is poorly crowned and its edges are crumbling.

WhiteTail Golf Course, the Charleston town office and a church are all on School Road. Ted Martin, the new owner of the golf course, declined to comment.

Hall added that two other state-maintained roads, Main Road and Atkinson Road, are in far worse shape than any town-maintained roads.

“The roads that we maintain, we take pride in. We feel pretty good about that,” Hall said.

Hall said the condition of Main Road may have led to a woman being killed in a crash in March.

“Main Road is not in as poor repair as the School Road, but it’s poorly crowned,” Hall said. “We have many, many accidents there.”

Hall said she understands the state can’t fix all the roads every year.

“It’s not that people don’t understand that it’s tough economic times. They’re paying their taxes and they feel that road has been neglected,” Hall said.

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