Band-aid repairs

To the Editor:

Many are happy that Route 230 in Trenton is being resurfaced. I am one who is not.

The Maine Department of Transportation (DOT) is putting down yet another “skinny coat” of pavement to solve the problem, which is a band-aid being put over gangrene.

First, let’s talk about the tire tax. This new surface will last for two years at most before it will break up. Frost heaves will make driving over it hazardous. The tire tax is when you have to buy tires every two or three years, not four or five, because your wheels have to run over this hazardous surface day after day, month after month, and year after year.

I know that frost heaves are a part of Maine life. But let’s look at Goose Cove Road, a road properly maintained by the town of Trenton. This road hasn’t been resurfaced in the nine years I have lived here. That’s because it’s a well-built road.

Beyond the tire tax, let’s talk about personal safety. Last summer, I was biking on Bayside Road and didn’t see a huge exposed ribbed culvert, where the road had crumbled to the point that the two-foot-wide pipe was exposed. I tried to swerve to miss it, but the offending pipe spanned the entire road. My front tire caught on the jutting pavement, and I was tossed into the air. I landed on the road. I skinned my right leg, banged a knee and hit my head on the pavement (I was wearing a helmet).

A friend took me to the doctor, where they tenderly removed pavement from my skin. I left the office with a slight concussion. Headaches followed, and the next November, I had a knee replacement.

So if skinny coats don’t last, why does the DOT put them down? Simple. They are cheap. The local crew (I called them) for the DOT doesn’t like it, but their hands are tied by the paltry budget that the state allows for road maintenance.

I could blame the Republican governor, and I would like to, but I can’t. Both Democratic and Republican governors and legislatures have skimped on road maintenance for many administrations.

It’s time to give the Maine DOT more money so they can repair and maintain our roads in a way we deserve. Where do we get the money? Everyone knows. Raise taxes on the 1 percent.

They won’t miss the money. And if they do, they can complain – in this newspaper.

Claire Daniel


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