RUMFORD — Starting on Monday, heavy equipment and signs will be moved into Rumford for multiple paving projects that begin next month.

Pike Industries of Fairfield was awarded the $2.8 million Maine Department of Transportation project, according to a MDOT news release on Friday.

All work includes pavement milling and resurfacing, along with drainage and safety improvements.

Work is to begin on Sunday, Aug. 3, on the first section, which begins at the intersection of Route 108 and Veterans Street, extending north for 0.20 of a mile to the Veterans Memorial Bridge. This work will be performed at night from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Work will start on Wednesday, Aug. 6, on Route 2 at the intersection of Bridge Street and Prospect Avenue, extending east for 1.16 miles. Daily lane closures —  restricted to 1,000 feet — will have alternating one-way traffic between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., the MDOT release stated.

A third section is located on Route 2, beginning 1.65 miles east of Gordon Avenue, extending east for 6.58 miles to 0.06 of a mile west of South Rumford Road.

Town Manager John Madigan informed selectmen Thursday night about the upcoming work. He said the first and second sections will take three weeks each to complete. Pike will grind out two inches of pavement.

Madigan warned selectmen that they will likely be getting calls from residents along Hancock Street (Route 2), complaining about the noise of pavement grinding and paving at night along the street for three weeks.

“They’re going to be grinding all night and paving all night, and they want the citizens to know this because there’s going to be noise,” Madigan said. “There isn’t a whole lot we can do about it.”

“The phones are going to be ringing,” Selectman Brad Adley said.

The work is being done at night, because there is less traffic and it will be less expensive in the long run, Madigan said.

In other business, a Smith Crossing neighborhood resident asked Madigan if anything could be done about train operators leaning on the horn whistle while using the Pan Am Railway line there.

Madigan said he had Rumford police Chief Stacy Carter talk with railroad police about the issue.

“Their policy is that it would cost the town $2,000 to $3,000 to do a survey first, and then you have to pay upfront a $2,000 non-refundable fee as to them making a determination whether that could be a no-whistle zone,” he said.

Madigan said Carter was told that it would be very difficult for that stretch to be classified as a no-whistle zone. He said he called the resident and said it would be pretty unreasonable for the town to put up that kind of money with no guarantee that the town will get that stretch declared a no-whistle zone.

The resident also asked if the town could try and prevent tractor-trailer truck drivers to stop using their engine exhaust or Jake brakes when traveling through the neighborhood.

Madigan said the town crew had previously put up a sign on Route 108 by the Veterans Street intersection, telling truck drivers that the use of engine exhaust brakes is prohibited. Then they added a small sign below it stating the indicated time period of 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. as a compromise with the resident.

“He was happy with it,” Madigan said.

The town manager said he would like to put up more such signs for traffic heading the other way on the other side.

Resident Candice Casey told selectmen and Madigan that Dixfield police Chief Richard A. Pickett told Dixfield selectmen last week that the signs banning engine exhaust brakes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Route 2 that voters approved in June are not enforceable.

Casey said that to make Rumford’s sign enforceable, the town would have to have an ordinance that specifies no Jake brake use during a specific time period. However, she said Jake brakes are a safety system on commercial trucks and protected by federal law.

“I never heard of that,” Madigan said. “I just think most drivers should be cognizant that this is a residential area, and they might want to refrain from doing that.”

Selectman Brad Adley said truckers need to use the Jake brake for increased safety and to reduce brake failure. He said the noise that residents are complaining about is the truck’s exhaust system and not the engine brake.

“It’s really an unenforceable issue, but maybe the truck drivers will comply with it,” Adley said.

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