FARMINGTON — Maine Department of Transportation is changing its strategy to treat roads from Kingfield to the Canadian border when snow is predicted in northern Franklin County

A section of Route 27 in the Eustis-Wyman Township area was closed for nearly two hours late Tuesday afternoon after the road turned icy and a truck slid, spun 180 degrees and rolled over in Wyman Township.

“We called in a crew within two minutes of being notified about the slippery roads in Eustis on Tuesday afternoon,” DOT spokesman Paul Merrill said Thursday. “The crew members had been out all night and all morning, so they were home resting. It did take them almost two hours from the time of the initial call to get to the scene of the accident because they had to come into our camp in Eustis, gear up, and make their way to the spot in question. They treated the road as they went.”

The new strategy is when snow is predicted a loaded truck will patrol from Eustis to the Canadian border and another truck will patrol from Kingfield to Eustis and from Route 16 in Kingfield to Anson, according to Merrill.

Drivers will do the same thing after the storm has ended until the roads are not in danger of refreezing.

“We will be paying much more attention to this section of road until we resolve this issue,” Merrill said the region manager told him.


Icy roads were contributing factors in several accidents on town and state roads in Franklin County between Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

MDOT “has a fleet of roughly 400 plow trucks that are used to control snow and ice on approximately 8,300 lane miles of Maine’s state roads,” according to its website. “MaineDOT snow fighters are some of the most talented and dedicated professionals in the business. But even the best snow plow operators can only do so much to keep you safe when driving.”

DOT offers these winter driving tips on its website

• Avoid any sudden or excessive actions while steering, braking or accelerating so you don’t lose control.
• Take it slow in ice and snow.
• Stopping on snow or ice without skidding requires extra time and distance. Drive slowly — below posted speed limits — so you can adjust to the conditions. This is especially true at intersections, off-ramps, bridges and shady areas where black ice can form without being noticed.
• Don’t turn your four-wheel drive into an “off-road” vehicle.
• Four-wheel drive may help you get going faster but it doesn’t help you stop sooner or maintain control better once you lose traction. Take it slow.
• Allow extra distance between vehicles.
• Longer stopping distances and extra time are required during winter conditions to avoid chain-reaction crashes.
• Don’t take chances when pulling out in front of approaching vehicles.
• Remember, when the pavement is wet, you may not be able to slow down and they may not be able to accelerate as quickly as you would on dry pavement.
• Avoid using cruise control. You need to be in full control when road conditions are wet or icy. Don’t let your cruise control make a bad decision for you.
• Brake early, brake slowly, brake correctly and never slam on the brakes.
• If you have anti-lock brakes, press the pedal down firmly and hold it. If you don’t have anti-lock brakes, gently pump the pedal.
• Stay alert.
• Beware of what’s going on well ahead of you. Other vehicles can alert you to problem spots on the road, which may give you the split second you need to avoid a crash. Needless to say, you can’t be alert if you’re on the phone so don’t let yourself get distracted.

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