LEWISTON — Drivers of heavy trucks will be invited back to city roads a month early, thanks to the mild spring weather.
Lewiston normally bans heavy truck traffic on a number of city roads for three months — March, April and May — to protect roads from frost-heave damage.
Trucks weighing more than 23,000 pounds are banned for the late winter and early spring on portions of 13 roads — Ferry, River, Dyer, Pinewoods, Gayton, Webster, Merrill, Sleeper, Randall, Old Greene, No Name and Pond roads, as well as Grove Street.
The heavy trucks, combined with freezing and thawing ground under the pavement, can cause severe damage to the asphalt.
But Public Works Director Paul Boudreau said the threat of frost heave damage has mostly passed.
“The frost in the road is mostly gone already,” Boudreau said. “There’s really no reason to put off opening those roads longer than we have to.”
The ban officially ends March 29, he said.
“Hopefully, it’ll help people that need deliveries or that rely on heavy trucks,” he said. “It could have some impact on the local economy.”
Boudreau said the city has ended the spring road postings early in the past, but rarely this early.
“Usually we leave it in place until May, but we’ve removed it by April 15 in the past,” Boudreau said. “But I don’t think I’ve ever seen the roads in this kind of shape this early. “