For over the past 12 years everyday pretty much I’ve taken the same route to work. Even longer if you count the year I commuted the opposite way from Augusta to Auburn. I think I know Route 202 like the back of my hand at least the stretch between Auburn and Augusta. There have been many changes in business along that road and new buildings built.

The most recent change that comes to mind is at the intersection of Strawberry and Main in Lewiston at the Dunkin Donuts by the bridge. There is now a light where a stop sign once stood. Good plan, ever try turning left off of Strawberry on Main St?

Some other changes on 202 over the years, Little Dan’s BBQ originally on the Monmouth-Winthrop line moved to outer Main in Lewiston across from Marden’s and is sadly no longer there either. Little Dan’s location became Moose Creek Grille and that too has gone. That place now is a pizza joint. Good luck to them. Another building that seems to come and go with business is that red wood building in Monmouth, most recently was U.G.L.I.E.S.

On Route 202 now along that 25-mile stretch there are two fireworks stores, Patriot in Monmouth and Pyro City in Manchester. Things are a changing for sure except for a little spot in Manchester. I have found this odd, anyone drive through Manchester on a regular basis? Notice that piece of land for sale close to Scott’s Recreation? For as long as I’ve commuted and going to back in 1997, that land has never been sold. I did some research; it’s considered a “rare opportunity” with 40 acres and is going for 1.5 million. 15 years and still sitting there waiting for a buyer.

Over the years while traveling route 202 from Augusta to Auburn, I’ve had three accidents and two speeding tickets. Thankfully in none of the accidents was anyone hurt. I drove my Hyundai Accent into a guardrail just southwest of Dumont’s Pit Stop avoiding a deer back in May of 2002. The car was brand new with just 3000 miles on it. Two with the Malibu driving home and in both cases I was hit from behind. One about two years ago outside of what is now Pyro City and the third just a couple of months ago in front of Smart Eye Care on Western Avenue in Augusta at the light.

I will leave with this. I have seen too many crazy things on that road. I’ve seen OUI stops and some really bad accidents, most recently one at the corner of 202 and Blue Rd in Monmouth. Too many times has my heart dropped after seeing a mangled car on that strip especially after seeing a motorbike and garbage truck collision scene on the Lewiston-Greene town line.  I have been detoured too many times to count during my commutes over the years. Please if you’re out this holiday week and celebrating be responsible. No drinking or texting and driving. It can kill you or someone else.