Fixing a Big Problem in a Small Town

February 23, 2021

Culvert Project Complete on the Sandy River Road

After years of planning, the culvert replacement project on the Sandy River Road at the outlet of David Pond where it flows into Parker Pond was completed in November. This stream crossing had been a chronic problem for many years and was identified in 2011 during 30 Mile’s Parker Pond Watershed Survey as being one of the biggest erosion threats to Parker Pond’s water quality. The road sat atop the 200+ year-old remains of the saw and grist mill, with a 3-foot culvert embedded in it. There were many concerns about this site including 1) water quality impacts due to the eroding banks and crumbling roadway; 2) barrier for fish passage 3) insufficient culvert size to handle high flows, making a washout or total failure likely, and 4) public safety.

Through two DEP grant programs*, 30 Mile was awarded $175K to help fund the $329K project. The Town of Chesterville funded the remaining cost. 30 Mile managed the project.

Before Photo

After Photo

The new open bottom aluminum culvert spans 22 feet, is 38 feet long, and will handle 100-year peak flows. It will benefit Parker Pond’s water quality, improve habitat for fish and other aquatic organisms, ensure public safety and provide a much-improved road for the town. Connected to this project, a second project on the Sandy River Road was completed last fall with support of additional grant funding awarded to 30 Mile from the DEP. The road on both sides of the culvert now has new ditches, rock check dams, rip-rapped plunge pools, and a new paved and crowned road surface, all best practices to help manage the high levels of water flowing down both hills to the stream. By getting the water off the road and allowing it to infiltrate, the pollution flowing into Parker Pond has been greatly reduced to protect water quality.

*$95,000 grant provided by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection for Stream Crossing Public Infrastructure Improvements Projects. $80,000 grant provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act. The funding is administered by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection in partnership with EPA

Photo Credit: Josh Robbins (Banner)