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Lisbon puts weight ban on some roads due to over saturation

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LISBON - A temporary ban on vehicles with more than six tons per axle is being instituted on several town roads that have been particularly impacted by how wet the spring has been.

Town Highway Supervisor Timothy Dow said some of the roads are in especially tough shape this year thanks to the amount of snow melt and rain they’ve seen in addition to the receding frost.

Heavy vehicles are “pumping the roads; tearing them right up,” Mr. Dow said.

This is the first time in 19 years Mr. Dow remembers having to close roads to heavy vehicles as a result of soggy conditions.

Deputy Town Supervisor and part-owner of Lisbon Center Farms Nathanael G. Putney said the town’s roads were never designed to handle heavy equipment in the first place, and this year’s weather conditions have made matters worse.

Mr. Putney said the biggest stress on the roads is farming equipment, though he said that with a little common sense he doesn’t expect the restrictions to seriously impact farmers.

“It’s going to slow [farmers] down a little bit,” Mr. Dow said, but he isn’t “going to shut them off.”

Mr. Putney said in some cases farmers might have to reduce the amount of manure their trucks carry or use trailers with more axles to spread out the weight.

Drivers should also try to take corners as widely as possible, Mr. Putney said, to avoid cutting into the road.

Mark H. Akins, owner of the Five Mile Farm, said the trailers he uses have “great big balloon tires so there is less pressure [on the road].”

Mr. Akins said at his farm they use trucks with at least 10 axles to spread out the weight as well. “I’m really not worried about it,” he said of the rule.

Mr. Dow said people who break the temporary ban could face fines up to $500 per over-weighted axle.

Signs have been posted on Five Mile Line Road between County Route 28 and 10, on the Pray Road from the Five Mile Line Road to County Route 28a, and on the Hardscrabble and Dezell Road, with others likely to come.

Mr. Dow was out Monday afternoon posting the roads that have already been torn up or are most susceptible to damage, saying that it’s much more cost-effective for the taxpayers to prevent damage whenever possible than fix it after the fact.

Mr. Dow said the ban will be lifted once the ground has a chance to dry.

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