Oxford to post roads against heavy trucks

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OXFORD— Certain town roads will be closed to heavy truck traffic for a few months this spring to prevent damage to the roadbed.

Selectmen last Thursday announced restrictions on select roads to all vehicles weighing 23,000 pounds and over. The measures will be in place from March 3 until May 15.

By law, Maine town’s are allowed to restrict vehicles access in order to reduce maintenance costs, measures towns anticipate and implement annually.

According to the Maine Department of Transportation, asphalt roads are at their weakest during the spring. Thawing heightens the risk of damage to the roads’ foundations as its base remains saturated with water and unable to support the wheel load.

Traveling over roads with a saturated based underneath may cause cracking, potholes, and rutting. In some instances, heavy trucks can break through asphalt.

Vehicles exceeding the restrictions may be assessed fines.

Municipalities may exempt certain entities, such as construction companies, from the closures. In that instance, Town Manager Michael Chammings said the town may seek to secure bonds as repair insurance against possible damage.

Chammings predicted that even with the closures, Oxford’s roads would face a tough spring.

‘We’re going to have a bad frost year, and a bad pot-hole year,’ he said.

The posted roads include: the northern end of Fore Street up to Dean Drive, Number Six Road to the Oxford County Regional Airport, Industrial Drive, the eastern portion of Rabbitt Valley Road up to Route 26, and from Station Road bearing north along East Oxford Road to the Record Lumber mill.

Selectmen will not post Cross Road.

A full list of the closures will be added to the town’s website.