The view from Ray Bernier's window shows the nearby blast site/by Chris Chase
Coastal Journal staff
BRUNSWICK — The new police station in Brunswick has already made waves, and it isn’t even built yet.
The extensive ledge in the area that the station is being constructed has forced the construction company, Harry C. Crooker & Sons Inc., to blast out sections of ledge with the assistance of Maine Drilling and Blasting, based out of Gardiner. The blasting itself was done in order to place a new sewer line for the building.
That blasting has rattled the nerves, and the furniture, of Ray Bernier, who lives within feet of the site of the blasting. He and his partner, Lois Bickford, had a front-row seat to the whole process, from the laying of the protective mats to the inevitable tooth-rattling blasts.
“It shakes the whole place,” said Bernier. “We never expected it to be this extensive.”
According to Bernier, the large mats used would jump several feet into the air with each blast. The blasting was scheduled ahead of time, and Bernier and other residents were notified of the times when each blast would occur and were called ahead of time. Even so, knowing the times didn’t make them any less violent.
“Houses aren’t supposed to shake like that,” said Bernier.
Overall, there were 13 blasts in total, which were needed to get through the solid rock that the site was on top of.
Recently reelected town council member John Perreault, who represents District 4, was also privy to the complaints, and said he wished he had been more informed so he could better serve his constituents.
“We knew there was going to be blasting,” said Perreault, “It would have been nice to know the extent of the blasting.”
According to Perreault, the construction company and the blasting company had been cooperative with those in the area. Perreault was talking to residents and making sure that everyone knew to take note of any possible damage to notify the companies.
“At first it was funny; now this isn’t funny anymore,” said Bernier.
According to Maine Drilling and Blasting, the blasts themselves were done in a controlled manner and followed every possible safety procedure, and broke no regulations at all.
“We have not exceeded any audio limits on this blast,” said Kathy Guerin for Maine Drilling and blasting. “Our safety director has heard absolutely no issues whatsoever concerning the job.”
Luckily for Bernier, the blasting is all done, according to the company. The only apparent damage is a grandfather clock that, according to Bernier, had been working prior to a large blast and isn’t any more. Whether or not any damage was done to it remains to be seen.