Winner of the 'Worst Road in Maine Contest' Announced

Aug 19, 2014

Two views of Route 15 in Camden, winner of the "Worst Road in Maine Contest."
Two views of Route 15 in Camden, winner of the "Worst Road in Maine Contest."
Credit Courtesy Maine Better Transportation Association

AUGUSTA, Maine - And the winner is...Route 15 in Camden. The road beat out several other pock-marked, tire-busting routes to win this year's dubious honor.

The road was submitted for consideration by Gabriel Zacchai, of Camden, who travels around the state a lot for his job as a facilities specialist for Camden National Bank.

"As a 42-year-old native Mainer, I can say with absolute certainty that this is THE WORST PAVED ROAD I HAVE EVER TRIED TO MOVE A CAR OVER IN MY LIFE. I THOUGHT THE FRONT END OF THE CAR WAS GONNA COME OFF!" Zacchai says in his official entry, according to the Maine Better Transportation Association, which sponsored the contest.

Runners up for the honor went to seven other roads located in Rockwood, Sullivan, Oxford, Dover-Foxcroft, Harrison, Madawaska and Unity.  But Maine Better Transportation Association President Jim Hanley says more than a dozen entries cited Route 15 as the state's worst road.

"Gabriel’s entry really highlights the problems that bad roads cause Mainers every day,"  Hanley says in a statement. "Research shows that the average Maine driver pays an additional $296 every year in extra vehicle maintenance due to rough roads. Gabriel’s story also speaks to other impacts of rough roads on daily life in Maine, including lost productivity and personal safety."

In his winning entry, Zacchai described a 40-mile trip on the road as long and harrowing. "If you live in Stonington, and you need anything from anywhere, I guess you take a boat," he wrote.

Hanley says MBTA’s research indicates that funding issues are to blame for the state's bad roads. He says federal funds for roads are declining as vehicles become more fuel efficient, and Maine doesn't have any alternative funding lined up.

Hanley says MBTA’s research indicates that funding issues are to blame for the state's bad roads. He says federal funds for roads are declining as vehicles become more fuel efficient, and Maine doesn't have any alternative funding lined up.