REGION — Mainers can set their clocks to February frost heaves and the dreaded pothole season that follows it. With temperatures bouncing between between springlike and subzero, roads in Oxford Hills and the residents who drive them have started an annual battle.

The Advertiser Democrat put out a Facebook query last week, asking for community members to share the location of their least favorite potholes. Not surprisingly Route 26/Main Street in Oxford was mentioned as the worst road around. The section straddled by Goodwin’s and Hannaford received the majority of complaints, but other neighborhoods are perilous to commuters too.

Both sides of Route 26 in Oxford are fraught with potholes. Nicole Carter / Advertiser Democrat

Laurel Story of Norway pointed out that a pothole by Rooper’s in Oxford was responsible for at least six flat tires, one of them being hers.

“Oh, great fun,” Story posted over the weekend. “…I was one of them. And it even cracked my wheel. That pothole is costing a pretty penny!”

One sympathetic poster encouraged Story to bill the town for her repairs but Story replied that drivers have to prove any damages are not due to vehicle defects and there is only a brief window of time to do that in.

Regardless, the town of Oxford is not responsible for maintaining Route 26. As a state highway, it is the responsibility of the Maine Department of Transportation.


And Oxford town officials are equally unimpressed. Route 26 was a topic of conversation at last week’s selectmen’s meeting.

“It was about 15 years ago that DOT was supposed to redo 26,” said Selectman Scott Hunter. “It got moved to the Poland section. Is this project not even on their radar anymore?”

A person attending the meeting spoke up to say DOT owes him for a tire that blew and came off the rim in front of the New Balance store.

“We’ve received a ton of complaints about Route 26,” Oxford Town Manager Adam Garland said. “Jim, the (Highway Department) foreman has reached out to DOT. I told him to offer them that we in fact will fix it if they allow us to bill them. He had that conversation and magically, some started to be filled in. I will ask them to (do more).”

Traffic cones surrounding a massive pothole on the corner of Fore and Main Streets in Oxford have taken a beating. Nicole Carter / Advertiser Democrat

King Street in Oxford got the better of a driver who posted they dented two rims and blew two tires after hitting a major pothole. Others singled out with Skeetfield (“I say a prayer for my car on dump run days!”) and Whittemore (“will make you pucker”) roads.

But it was not just the major thoroughfare through Oxford that is causing drivers headaches.


Greenwood Road, especially the section connecting Greenwood and Bryant Pond, was included as one of the worst to drive.

Christopher Field of Norway wrote that he would put Bolster Mills Road headed out of Harrison or Sodom Road in Norway coming from Mill Hill Road  up against any road in the state. And one person posted that after hitting a pothole on Waterford Road in Norway her vehicle bottomed out and stalled.

Paris Hill has not been kind this month either. Shellie Legere of West Paris wrote that the sway bar of her vehicle broke driving that road.

The thing about potholes, they never go away be themselves. And they are a harbinger of an eventual spring … and mud season.

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