DOT examining options for Route 6 maintenance

Posted May 20, 2012, at 2:17 p.m.

LEE, Maine — To those of you who have seen Route 6 in and around Lee and feel it needs fixing, fear not: State workers are on the way.

Dale Doughty, the Maine Department of Transportation’s director of maintenance and operations, said that workers will be examining the road this summer to determine whether they can fund repairs this summer or next to some cross pipes and culverts that have begun undermining portions of the road.

They also plan some patching of potholes and other routine maintenance, Doughty said.

“Within the last four or five years we have paved the western and central portions of the road,” Doughty said Friday. “The eastern portion is what I expect people are complaining about. It is fairly rough over there. Well, it’s still OK, but it needs some attention paid to it.”

A lack of lighting, potholes and some erosion to the shoulders of the road were among the elements of the road that residents and respondents to the bangordailynews.com’s “See It. Fix It.” service said needed correcting.

Route 6 is one of the state’s busier roads, and it has its share of accidents. The road meets Canadian Route 173 at the border near the Canadian town of Saint-Georges and runs east through Jackman, Greenville, Dover-Foxcroft, Milo, Lincoln, Lee, Topsfield and Vanceboro.

A motorcyclist dumped his bike and went into a ditch on Route 6 in Lincoln on April 29. Another motorcyclist died in a crash in Codyville Plantation in August 2010. A woman whom police said had a blood-alcohol content rating four times the legal limit died when her truck veered from the road in Lee in August 2010.

The biggest problem with Route 6 that Raymond’s Variety and Dining cashier Judy Flewelling saw in her own area was the lack of lighting around the s-curve between Winn, Arab and Thomas Hill Roads.

“That curve is way too sharp,” she said.

Two teenage pedestrians suffered serious injuries in November 2009 when they were hit by a motorist on the s-curve. The motorist was cleared of wrongdoing. Flewelling believes that the lack of lighting makes the area hazardous, especially to pedestrians.

Larry Ferguson of Springfield said the area of Route 6 near what residents call the painted rock, a graffiti-strewn boulder on the southern side of the road in Lincoln, was plagued with undermining — patches where the pavement looks like rolling waves.

A tractor-trailer connection got severed by the bumps about two weeks ago, he said.

The line-of-sight is poor at Millet Mallet Road, another area with a curve, he said. Vehicles pulling out of Millet Mallet or from a garage there onto Route 6 risk getting hit.

Yet the residents also concede that Route 6 in and around Lee is hardly the worst stretch of road in the area.

Almost all of the paving from Lincoln to the Washington County line is still relatively fresh and smooth. On the s-curve, Maine DOT workers have placed arrow and speed-limit signs and radar monitors that flash warnings to motorist who are traveling too fast for conditions.

“I wouldn’t say that it is in immediate danger of falling apart,” Doughty said, “but it needs to be looked at and we need to forecast where it will be in a couple of years.”

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