ANDOVER — Efforts to stop Canadian and out-of-state tractor-trailer drivers from following their GPS devices during winter from New Hampshire to Route 2 via Upton and Andover appear to be working, Oxford County Administrator Scott Cole said Friday.

Earlier this winter, the county erected large orange signs at either end of East B Hill Road, also called the Upton Road. The signs read, “Do Not Use GPS.”

The road that connects Route 26 in Upton to Andover at the intersection of Routes 5 and 120 is narrow and in poor condition. It’s easier and shorter to take Route 26 from Upton to Route 2 in Bethel than to take East B Hill Road to Andover and follow Routes 5 or 120 to Route 2.

“We were having repeated problems with tractor-trailer truck drivers using their GPS when their trucks were either empty or loaded and going from Errol, N.H., to Andover,” Cole said.

Because the road isn’t maintained much in the winter, drivers were getting stuck on icy hills, often blocking the road.

“They ended up blocking the road for the better part of a day, so we’ve got to idiot- proof everything,” he said. “People just want to keep going and follow their GPS.”


With the signs, Cole said they hoped to “get the driver to think what his true situation is. Nobody looks at a map anymore. … That road is terrible anyway. It has icing conditions and several truckers were getting stuck on the steepest grades. Steve Swasey (of Andover) spent the better part of a day fishing them out, and then he sent us the bill.

“So these signs were the best thing we could come up with to make drivers think twice,” Cole said.

A similar issue is happening between Norway and Bethel, he said. Instead of taking the much shorter Route 26 from Paris to Bethel and Route 2, tractor-trailer truck drivers who don’t know the area are following their GPS devices and ending up on Hunts Corner Road in Albany Township.

Cole said he and commissioners have asked the Maine Department of Transportation to put up permanent signs telling truckers to stay on Route 26, but they haven’t yet.

[email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.