State law allows claims by motorists if city fails to repair potholes after complaint filed

Rockland ready for ambitious road paving season

By Stephen Betts | Mar 21, 2019
Photo by: Stephen Betts

Rockland — 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.

Comments (15)
Posted by: Valerie Wass | Mar 31, 2019 16:27

Donna,

https://knox.villagesoup.com/p/park-street-sewer-project-also-on-tap-for-rockland/1807645



Posted by: Donna Culbertson | Mar 24, 2019 13:30

I would be real surprised if that bond money for paving thats been voted on repeatedly has not gone somewhere else.

 



Posted by: Valerie Wass | Mar 24, 2019 11:48

The problem is that our tax dollars are being so wasted by the Public Works Dept. employees going out, using cold patch in the holes, sometimes with standing water in the holes, yes, I have seen it done, and not TAMPING the cold patch down.  The employees go along the road, with a shovel, toss some cold patch in and tap it a few times with the shovel.  How much wasted money has the Public Works Dept. spent this winter on "just playing around patching?"    The Public Works Dept. does have a small tamper.  I have seen them use just once this winter/spring.



Posted by: Robert Stark | Mar 23, 2019 17:14

Gay Street is downright apocalyptic.



Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Mar 23, 2019 07:58

:) Realizing hindsight is always 20/20, do you suppose the millions we spent on the State's repair duties on Old County Road could have been better spent on our own responsibilities?  Thank you, Governor LePage. You may have taught us a tough lesson; certainly expensive.



Posted by: John Snow | Mar 22, 2019 20:53

>>>The city has budgeted little money for paving in the past several years.<<<<    Not surprising, as governments all over can't find the money for infrastructure.

I remember when you drove past a road construction site, there was a sign that read Your tax dollars at work.  Someone should put up a sign on South Main Street that reads Your tax cuts at work.



Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Mar 22, 2019 06:11

https://knox.villagesoup.com/p/unpainted/1805786

 



Posted by: Gayle Murphy | Mar 21, 2019 20:09

Debbie Morrison . . . If you are setting the over/under on digging up the new asphalt at 9 months, i am all over the "under" on that bet.  There is no way it lasts 9 months before someone digs it up!

 

John Murphy



Posted by: Katie Drinkwater | Mar 21, 2019 16:45

A delivery company that travels all over the state said "Rockland has by far the worst roads in the state"  Frost  heaves?! Ha ha, a little more than a first heave problem.  The roads to Belfast are much smoother.  Posted by Dee.



Posted by: ananur forma | Mar 21, 2019 16:42

I sent an email asking about Maine DOT for Rockland, I got this info:

 

Owls Head, Rockland Highway Paving Urban Highways Mill And Fill Route 73 Beginning at Route 1 in Rockland and extending south 0.90 of a mile. $574,000 018713.01 2019

Rockland Aviation Apron Reconstruction Knox County Regional Airport Safety and infrastructure improvements that may include reconstruction of the apron - Phase 1 and drainage exploration. $1,144,444 018713.02 2019

Rockland Aviation Apron Reconstruction Knox County Regional Airport Safety and infrastructure improvements that may include reconstruction of the apron - Phase 2. $1,827,106 018713.05 2020/21

Rockland Airport Airport - General Capital Equipment Purchase Knox County

Regional Airport Safety and infrastructure improvements that may include a security system. $360,500 018713.06 2019 Rockland Aviation Runway/Taxiway Reconstruction Knox County Regional Airport Safety and infrastructure improvements that may include hangar taxiway, parking lot and emergency access road. $1,451,270 018713.07 2020/21 Rockland Aviation Runway/Taxiway Crack Sealing Knox County Regional Airport Safety and infrastructure improvements that may include crack sealing and pavement markings. $206,000 018713.08 2020/21 Rockland Aviation Runway/Taxiway Reconstruction Knox County Regional Airport Safety and infrastructure improvements that may include construction of drainage improvements. $1,722,389 018794.10 2019 HCP 1

 

Rockland Highway Safety and Spot Improvements Urban Highways Large Culvert Improvements Route 1 Located 0.10 of a mile north of Waldo Avenue. $270,000 022016.00 2020/21

 

Rockland Bus Parking Lots Multimodal Improvements Park and Ride Lot Located 0.06 of a mile north of Route 1 on Rockland Street. $292,623 83 0123456789 ID/Year Municipality Scope Name Description Funding 022458.00 2019 HCP 1

 

Rockland Highway Paving Rural Highways 1 1/4" Overlay Route 1 Beginning 0.10 of a mile northeast of Glenwood Avenue and extending northeast 1.22 miles. $927,418 023000.00 2019

 

Rockland Ports-Harbors Piers, Floats and Fenders New Construction Fish Pier Located at the intersection of Weeks Street and Commercial Street. $500,000 023280.00 2019 Rockland Ports-Harbors Channels, Pier Berths Rehabilitation

 

Sharps Point Marina Located off Mechanic Street. $60,000 018794.00 2019 HCP 1 Rockland, Rockport Highway Paving Urban Highways Mill

 

And Fill Route 1 Beginning at Maverick Street and extending north



Posted by: JOE BURCH | Mar 21, 2019 14:41

Can someone tell me who is responsible for the rail road tracks on the south end by Maritime? Someone is going to get hurt there.



Posted by: Deborah Clarisse Morrison | Mar 21, 2019 10:17

Let's all take bets on how long AFTER the paving, a sewer project or water company repair will tear it up.   Usually takes about 9 months.



Posted by: Ananur Forma | Mar 21, 2019 09:06

Oh good! Put my just paid property tax moolah$ to good use. The roads are so bad! yikes. Can't wait for the fixing to begin.

Thx for acknowledging the "poor conditions." Moving forward.



Posted by: Ron Pendleton | Mar 21, 2019 08:52

Charge a toll to the 845 who opposed.



Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Mar 21, 2019 08:45

The decision to put it off for two years has cost us dearly! Now, just paving will be a complete waste of money since some roadbeds are severely damaged.

"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."



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