LEWISTON — Public works directors in the Twin Cities said Monday that crews plowing their third major stormstorm in a week will begin snow removal operations Tuesday, a move one business owner said can’t come soon enough.

Director of Lewiston Public Works David Jones said his crews are doing their best, but three major storms in a week have caused delays in removal operations.

“We had planned to begin snowbank removal in the downtown (Monday night), but the snow today will delay this until tomorrow night,” Jones said Monday.

The city website said, “Jones stated that crews scheduled to remove snow will all be needed for plowing operations that will handle the third major storm in seven days. This latest storm will push the overall snow total for the week to approximately four feet.”

There’s no denying that the streets of Lewiston and Auburn are narrowing. After several winter storms during the past week, it appears there simply isn’t enough space to shove the stuff.

At Spring and Elm streets in Auburn on Monday, a right-turn lane is no longer visible.


Motorists have given up the idea that the Bernard Lown Peace Bridge is, in fact, two lanes, and a number of streets in New Auburn have narrowed down to single-lane status.

In Lewiston, there is no longer a turn lane at Pine and Bates streets. Residents also report that several streets in the Bates College area are a mess.

According to the city’s website, snow removal beginning Tuesday will tackle River Road, Oxford, Lisbon and Main streets.

“We expect to have the night crew continue snowbank removal for at least two to three weeks and will be sending out announcements of the locations as we proceed,” Jones said.

According to Jones, crews will also begin taking down big snowbanks in problem areas such as intersections as much as they can during the day without affecting traffic.

In Auburn, director of Public Services Denis D’Auteuil said crews have been working around the clock since the start of Blizzard Juno a week ago, remaining on 16-hour shifts to remove snow as quickly as possible.


“Crews will be working through the night (Monday), handling the current storm,” D’Auteuil said. “As soon as we get through this storm, we will be switching crews over to snow picking, and we will continue the snow-picking efforts around the clock until we get everything caught up.”

The effort in dealing with Mother Nature has been nonstop for the Twin Cities — but not everyone is satisfied with the progress.

Kevin Cunningham, chef and manager of Marche Kitchen and Wine Bar on Lisbon Street in Lewiston, said Monday that the slow removal of snow is affecting their bottom line.

“I see other cities — Brunswick for example — that remove snow after every storm,” Cunningham said. “These cities have made a commitment to the downtown thriving and keeping a strong community of small business. These cities have year-round foot traffic and a strong economic base.

“The downtown and the city are a partnership — we clear our sidewalks, promote our business and community,” Cunningham said. “We all — every business in the downtown — only want the best for the whole area. When we all rely heavily on foot traffic and it becomes incredibly difficult to get to the business, you can see where we all feel the city is not holding up their end of the deal. We pay our taxes — should we not expect that the city would want to do everything possible to help us grow our business?”

Cunningham also pointed out how businesses are responsible for pedestrians slipping on snow and ice in front of their buildings.


“Sales are down in a large part to the snowbanks and lack of parking,” Cunningham said. “Lunch is half what it was just a week ago. Takeout sales — almost 30 percent of our lunch — is virtually nonexistent.”

Cunningham said that potential customers can’t even find parking, much less attempt to cross the snowbanks through the small holes carved in them. He said he feels that businesses have a partnership with the city that the city has, so far, neglected.

“Every business down here suffers from the snowbanks, but if the city could remove them (after) every storm, we would create an environment where the snowstorms would not impact sales for a week or more,” Cunningham said. “That might create a thriving year-round downtown. I can go on and on about how more business means more taxes and jobs for the community, but the short (of it) is this — it’s a partnership.”

Aside from his position at Marche, Cunningham said he is also a homeowner and taxpayer — and at the end of the day, he only wants the city to succeed.

The next storm is forecast to arrive midweek.


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