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Last week’s Mt Mica Rd washout!

Looking back to that mighty rainstorm on May 2, I wanted to let you all know what happened and why Lincoln St. was travelled by heavy trucks all day on Monday, May 3.   Considering the fragile nature of Lincoln Street this was a concern to all of us on that street.

The rain washed out Mr Mica Road above Cooper Spring resulting in a road closure for most of Monday.   The washout was huge and took out a very large section of the road, including new pavement.  Additional pavement had to be cut to keep the washout from getting worse.

I contacted Dawn Noyes, town manager and asked her some questions. 

  1. How was the washout reported?  Jamie was off, so Jesse reported the problem.  He determined that it was over more than half of the width of the road which meant traffic had to be diverted while the road crew worked. Dawn said they are hopeful a more permanent fix will be done this year. 

2.  Were any residents directly affected.  Yes.   Driveway culverts were involved and folks had to turn around.

3.  How long was Cooper Spring closed?  Most of the day on Monday,  It was reopened late afternoon.  The crews were done around 5:30 pm.

4.  How many truckloads were needed to stop the washout and reopen the road?  Not sure, but the cost for the gravel was $7,393.  At one point they were at 20 loads.

5.  Will there be any more temporary work done before the “real” fix.  Crews will monitor the conditions and make sure it doesn’t get worse. 

I also asked Dawn about the  road work schedule for Paris Hill, especially Tremont and Lincoln Streets.  She said she was aware of the deterioration and would try to get a look at conditions and possibly rethink the 2033 current schedule for those roads. 

Dawn also asked that I encourage Paris Hill residents to vote in the upcoming statewide Elections scheduled for June 13. Paris has two openings for Select Board positions on that ballot. Residents can begin voting absentee starting May 15.   

She said residents should attend the Candidate Night on May 18 and voice any concerns they have about town business.   Also voters should plan to attend the Town Meeting on June 20.

Paris Hill Road Update

Conducted as phone interview with Dawn Noyes, Town Manager.

Now that Paris Hill Road is completed and looking good, residents have some questions about the new road and about the other roads in our community.Have you considered how to mitigate the increase in speed over the new road? Neighbors are already noticing a higher volume of faster traffic. (Note the article in the Sun Journal on September 27 citing Select Board members witnessing speeding on “newly paved” Paris Hill Road.)

Have you considered how to mitigate the increase in speed over the new road? Neighbors are already noticing a higher volume of faster traffic. (Note the article in the Sun Journal on September 27 citing Select Board members witnessing speeding on “newly paved” Paris Hill Road.)

WE have discussed the speed issue and will be placing a digital sign soon to capture data about the number of cars, the time of day and the speed. We have increased officer presence on Paris Hill Road. We are also contacting the state to review the speed limits on both Paris Hill Road and Ryerson Hill Road. There are no speed signs on Ryerson, and we will be fixing that as soon as we can.

Homeowners are responsible for mowing the newly seeded areas next to the road, correct?

That is correct. We will mow the right of way once a year. However, keeping the new grass similar to resident property grass is up to the homeowner.

Will the “Rip Rap” ditches be cleaned of debris?

Debris will be clears as needed when it impacts the drainage of the runoff.

Obviously we are still very concerned about at the other roads in the village proper: Hannibal Hamlin Drive, Tremont St, and Lincoln St. All are in very rough shape with cracks and potholes. As farm and construction vehicles use these roads daily, the noise can be quite loud when they bounce empty trailers down the roads. It is a matter of speed in most cases, though those of us on Lincoln wonder at the frequency of these vehicles as well.

The Road Budget is a fluid document depending on the conditions of road and the amount of traffic. We take into account how the town maintenance vehicles are impacted by these conditions especially the snowplow blades. We review conditions all year and try to address what we can given the funds we have. For example, Christian Ridge is in dire need of work in the near future.

Hannibal Hamlin Drive is becoming critical as the village hosts more events that showcase the village to
help fund the upkeep of our historical buildings on the Common. These events are also targeted to provide family entertainment for the whole area. In addition the lingering sand from last winter is a hazard for walkers and bikers.

Tremont Street is also very bad. As houses and land are sold, construction is almost constant in the village, and Tremont is
getting hit pretty hard. Our Post Office is on this street, so local traffic (cars, bikes and walkers) all use Tremont daily.

I will have Rob Prue and Jamie take a closer look at these three roads (Hannibal Hamlin Drive, Tremont and Lincoln streets) and see if we can get some work scheduled and done to improve conditions. It might be a good idea for the town to ask farm and construction vehicles to slow down by contacting them directly. Can’t hurt to try.

The “back side” of Paris HIll Road continues to deteriorate as the second top coat was never put down after the initial paving several years ago. You said that you would check on how to best fix this problem, and said letting it go is not a good plan.

2022 road plans are to finish the top coat on the back side of Paris Hill Road, King Hill Road and Streaked Mountain Road. Again it depends on funding and conditions on all roads within the town of South Paris.

We know we aren’t the only area in South Paris needing road work, and we do appreciate your consideration of our needs. As we continue to grow in population, a decent road system is important. This little village is often cited in talking up Oxford County, and the homeowners on Paris Hill work hard to make these historic public buildings and houses reflect that.