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AUGUSTA, Maine — A Camden man who wrote a harrowing account of his trip along Route 15 from Blue Hill to Stonington this spring is the winner of the Worst Road in Maine contest, according to the Maine Better Transportation Association.
Gabriel Zacchai’s entry was selected from among eight finalists, Maria Fuentes, the association’s executive director, announced Tuesday. The contest is run by the 700-member association of businesses, municipalities and individuals that advocates for improving Maine’s transportation infrastructure.
Zacchai, a Camden National Bank employee, wrote in his entry about the stretch of Route 15 in Hancock County: “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. I THOUGHT THE FRONT END OF THE CAR WAS GONNA COME OFF!”
Zacchai, who travels frequently in his role as the bank’s facilities specialist, had also been considering Old County Road in Belfast and Route 131 from Belfast to Appleton, but the trip along Route 15 he made during the state’s pothole season en route to Stonington to deliver equipment to a bank branch took the cake.
“I drove over 40 miles at about 5 miles-per-hour with a file cabinet that was determined to jump from the back seat into the front seat with me. If you live in Stonington, and you need anything from anywhere, I guess you take a boat,” he wrote.
Zacchai wasn’t alone in picking on Route 15.
“We know this road is bad because we had more than a dozen entries come in for Route 15,” said association president Jim Hanley. “And Gabriel’s entry really highlights the problems that bad roads cause Mainers every day.”
Earning runner-up honors in the contest were: Lisa Hargreaves of Wiscasset, Route 15 in Rockwood; Bruce Munger of Sullivan, Route 183 in Sullivan; Amy Brousseau of Mechanic Falls, Route 121 in Oxford; Angela Maddocks of Harrison, Route 35 in Harrison; Nancy Godfrey of Dover-Foxcroft, Route 7 in Dover-Foxcroft; John Young of Madawaska, Mill Street in Madawaska and Robin and Ed Coffin, Unity, Stagecoach Road in Unity.