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2018 Update #28

Texting and Blasting; Updating the Week’s Game Plan

Recently a reader reached out with a question about the orange construction signs that now mark all the entry points into downtown.

Why are there signs that say, ‘TURN OFF 2-way radio and cell phone’? I work in the Marble Works and there's no way I can not have my cell phone on.”

That sign has puzzled me, too. Everyone working in the construction zone has a cell phone and we’re communicating during the blasting process by two-way radio.

So I went to Maine Drilling & Blasting for an explanation. Here’s what I learned.

The restriction on cell phone and two-way radio usage is specific to electronic detonation systems, which Maine D&B is not using on any blasting planned for the Middlebury project.

U.S. Department of Transportation specifications still require that those signs be posted, though.

Bottom line, you can safely use your cell phone downtown, even during a blasting event.

Updating the Week Ahead

Maine D&B will commence drilling in Printer’s Alley on Tuesday. We can expect blasting Wednesday through Friday this week.

ECI moved its crane into Printer’s Alley on Monday. The crane will be used to move the large blasting mats that cover the charges during a blast and, eventually, to lift the drill into place as the launch pit grows deeper.

Subcontractor Hayward/Baker will make a site visit later this week to evaluate the work it will do to stabilize the slope extending downward from the National Bank’s parking lot to Otter Creek prior to construction of the drainage system outfall. The temporary roadway in Riverfront Park will be completed following that site visit.

Prep work on the Water Street temporary access road is on hold for now.

That’s all for today. See you downtown.

Please keep your comments and questions coming. Send me an email at and I’ll try to cover it in my next update.

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