R. Emery: Terrible job of plowing

I have lived in Auburn for 80 years. On Nov. 23, I was on my way to Central Maine Medical Center. It normally takes me about 30 minutes to get there but that day it took me one hour to make the trip.

In all the years I have lived here, I have never seen the plowing of the main streets so poorly done.

There was no sanding done and the plow blades were up some 2-and-a-half inches from the pavement.

What is wrong?

People have said there is no money. I don't believe it. The winter budget was passed a long time ago for the highway department.

When are Auburn residents going to stop putting up with it? When?

Reginald W. Emery Sr., Auburn

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Steve  Dosh's picture

R. Emery: Terrible job of plowing

Reginald ,
Whelp , email the mayor or your governor :) http://www.auburnmaine.org/
Sorry , we have no plows where i live
It seems like the first storm of the season might be a test run for your crews .
Take Connecticut for instance .. ( same storm )
Just a suggestion . /s, Steve Dosh , Hawai'i •

Jennifer Chretien's picture

I don't live in Auburn but it

I don't live in Auburn but it seems to me that if Mr Emery is correct in saying the plow blades were 2+ inches off the road it really doesn't matter how many tucks were out and how often, you're still going to be driving on 2+ inches of crap.

 's picture


At what time was your appointment, and when were you on the road? The timing of that storm was largely within a 12 hour span from midnight to noon the next day. If you were out in the early morning driving on the 23rd, I would say you should EXPECT the roads to be in poor shape. It's the middle of the storm. They can't instantly be on every main road at the moment it becomes suitable for plowing.

I worked as a driver for the newspaper over half a decade and was out in nearly every major storm every winter. Depending on the timing the main roads are great or horrible and it's unreasonable to expect every road to be pristine at the moment you happen to need it.

Could they have done better? Maybe so. Storms that hit during morning rush hour are the worst ones, and the ones that the highway departments hate the most. A November storm is also unpredictable in that they really don't know how much snow or rain to expect.

I understand you've been around a long time Mr. Emery, but I feel comfortable in saying that for most winter storms you're comfortably at wherever you need to be, and in this case you just happened to have a need to be on the roads at the worst possible time.

Jason Theriault's picture

I can see what they were doing

I thing Public works was just saving money. I mean, it was predicted to be 50's and 60's that week, so I can understand no plowing the heck out of it.

Jason Theriault's picture


Sorry if my grammar sucked. I have been slammed at work, and my brain is on the verge of hitting the eject button in my skull and hitchhiking to Key west.

David  Cote's picture

Conditions in other towns

I had to drive in several different towns, including Auburn, during the storm Mr. Emery is speaking of. There was little difference in the quality of road maint. from town to town. It's like Jason said, warmer temps were predicted and the town garages may have felt in light of the forecast to reserve man hours and equipment. I don't believe it has anything to do with poor planning or incompetence on the part of A.P.W.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

They do have a cost cutting program in place now

I to am an Auburn resident. I also had a doctors appointment in Turner at nine o-clock.I seem to remember reading a story outlining how the plowing would be done this year.
Main roads based on traffic use would be done first. then secondary roads like park ave or hotel road.Finally when the rush was over all the back roads would be done.
Personally at 7:45 am on that morning I was on outer Center st. and it was almost impasible.
You have to remember,there are two departments plowing the roads in town. Niether one has much money to work with. You have the state plowing state roads and the city doing thier roads.
Just thank God you don't live in Turner.
I could be wrong about that story,but I swear I read it.

 's picture

City manager doesn't plow the streets

Please explain how the absence of a "real" city manager would make the plowing more professionally done. The director of public works, the deputy director of public works and the two operations managers of public works are the one responsible for plowing the roads. The city manager doesn't even need to know how a plow truck operates.

To blame this kind of a problem on the lack of a sitting city manager is assinine. The day to day responsibility of running the city lies with the department heads. Besides, Chief Crowell is every bit as qualified as any city manager save the experience. Chief Crowell, I believe was stated, has a graduate degree in public administration, same as a city manager. Plus, the Chief has gotten a great deal of experience as assistant city manager and acting city manager in the past couple years.

The only way we are going to get the city to run more smoothly is to let them know we are not happy. I had a number of calls last storm regarding this matter and discussed it with the public works department. They are taking all the feedback and working to make a better system. They are receptive to the publics input.

Mark Elliott's picture

Joe, don't get hooked into

Joe, don't get hooked into Dan's trolling. He's up at midnight to be the first to read and respond to LSJ articles. Always looking for an argument and usually knows exactly how to get one started. He's a professional.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Amen, Brother, Amen.

Amen, Brother, Amen.


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