Duxbury road workers are being harassed by town residents upset over traffic delays due to road damage caused by heavy rain this spring.
Adam Magee, Duxbury road foreman, spoke about impatient community members harassing his co-workers while they are working to members of the Duxbury Select Board this week.
Magee spoke at the May 11 select board meeting telling board members and the public that residents of Scrabble Hill Road, off Camel’s Hump Road, have been repeatedly honking, yelling, swearing and distracting road crew workers. Magee told select board members that he has already given drivers warnings about their behavior toward his crew in the past. The crew has been working nonstop on Camel’s Hump as two heavy, spring rainstorms created massive washouts to the inflicted areas, Magee said.
TO THE BRINK
During the meeting Magee expressed his frustration that the road crew has been focused on the roads on the Camel’s Hump side of Duxbury as the most storm damage has been there. The road crew has pushed off its regular ditching, grading, culvert replacement and upkeep to other parts of the town to handle the storm damage. With three road crew members, closing the gravel pit, planning for a new salt and sand shed, and working through a tough spring, Magee and his crew have been pushed to the brink.
Duxbury Select Board members asked how Magee would like to proceed with his work and select board members offered to reach out to the handful of property owners causing the ruckus. Magee suggested that having a sheriff or police attendant or a flagger on site to help with the impatient drivers who honk and yell at his workers might help.
For the last three weeks, the crew has been at the site on Scrabble Hill repairing flood damage, ditching, stone lining, culvert replacement and installing a steep plate. Magee said that this is not the first time residents have been vocal about their frustration with a project’s duration. As the problem has happened more than once on this side of town, Magee sees the actions as becoming harassment.
When asked if this has been a reoccurring problem for the road crew, Magee responded it has. “It has been for years on one side of town more than the other. We try to make most happy and I think most are. There is a select handful no matter what we do who will never be happy and will do whatever they can to try and derail us and make our jobs as hard as they can. In which case doesn't help the town as a whole at all.”
SAFETY OF WORKERS
The highway crew gives a week’s advance notice when they close roads or reduce them to one-way travel, posting on the town’s website, social media and with road signs. Magee’s biggest concern on this issue is the safety of his co-workers.
“If they are distracted by an angry motorist and they are still trying to work we are running the risk of something happening to a highway worker, equipment, utilities or another motorist. My goal is for the projects to get completed correctly and all my co-workers to go home at night and also for the motoring public to have safe roads,” said Magee.
Community members present said that individuals are living in a world of impatient complainers and that it is something that has to be accepted.
Magee plans to get as much of the storm damage repair work done as soon as he can so he and his crew can attend to other roads that need maintenance. With the high influx of traffic on River Road, the town has had to grade and use chloride to maintain its condition numerous times, he said. River Road is being used as an unofficial detour by drivers seeking to avoid the extensive construction in Waterbury Village that is expected to take three years. Power lines are being put underground, new sidewalks built, trees planted and the road repaved.