Rockland's public services director said he is confident that motorists will see far better roads throughout the city after an ambitious paving plan is completed this year.

David St. Laurent acknowledged that Rockland's roads are in poor condition, with potholes throughout the city. He said, however, potholes are a problem throughout Maine and added that the repeated warmups and cold snaps this winter are the cause.

State law allows motorists to seek compensation if their vehicles are damaged by driving over a pothole. But the law requires that a motorist file a complaint with the city about a pothole. The law gives that community 24 hours to repair the road problem. If the repair is not made and the motorist then damages a vehicle driving over the pothole, the owner can file a claim.

St. Laurent said the city does respond within 24 hours when complaints are received. He did not immediately have available how many complaints had been filed this winter.

He said the problem is that cold patch does not stay in the potholes because of the hydraulic pressure from water when it rains and the water freezes and pushes up against the patching.

Rockland Public Services workers have applied 225 tons of cold patch this year, he said.

St. Laurent acknowledged that the poor condition of many roads prior to the start of winter contributed to the number of problems.

He said, however, that a major paving project that began last fall will be in full gear this year. Last year, Limerock Street and the Bog Road were paved.

Streets to be paved by the city this year include Thomaston, the southern portion of Broadway, Cedar, Water, Ocean, Pacific, Atlantic, Elm, Museum, Winter, Lawn, Lovejoy, Oliver and Waldo. The city will also apply a coating of pavement over South Main Street once the sewer project is completed this summer.

In addition, the Maine Department of Transportation plans to pave Camden and Park streets this year, St. Laurent said.

Talbot Avenue is scheduled to paved in 2020.

The city has budgeted little money for paving in the past several years. For the budget year ending June 30, 2017, $143,000 was set aside for paving. In 2018, was $205,000 budgeted. The current budget that ends June 30 allocates $137,000 for paving.

St. Laurent pointed out that paving Limerock Street alone last year cost $143,000.

The increased paving is being paid for largely by a $2.7 million bond referendum approved 2,575 to 845 by Rockland voters in November 2016. The City Council, however, held off borrowing the money until last year to allow other existing bonds to be paid off.