Proposed Livermore Falls path extension draws concerns

LIVERMORE FALLS — A few residents of Foundry Road voiced their opposition Monday to a proposed extension of the bike/walk path that would go in front of their houses along the section of dirt road.

Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

Engineer Jeff Preble of Wright-Pierce goes over a proposed extension of the Foundry Road bike walk/path and building a sidewalk on routes 133/17 as part of the project on Monday at public hearing at the Livermore Falls Town Office. The top portion of the map displays routes 133/17 and the bottom portion is the Foundry Road existing path and proposed extension.

They do not want it on their side of the road. Another resident said the town cannot take care of what it already has. Some favored the project.

Voters will have the final say on the project in June. The proposed cost of the preliminary design work more than $14,000 for the second phase. The town would be responsible for $2,850.50 and the Maine Department of Transportation grant would pay the remaining $11,402.40.

The entire second phase of the path extension including a sidewalk is estimated to cost $324,500. The state would pay 80 percent and the town would pay 20 percent, which would include in-kind work, Town Manager Kristal Flagg said.

The first phase of the project cost about $223,000 with the town responsible for about $44,000, according to a previous town manager’s figures.

Engineer Jeff Preble of Wright-Pierce went over the preliminary design Monday that would increase the length of the path about 1,300 feet down Foundry Road to Shuy Corner on routes 133/17, and then build a sidewalk about 1,300 feet up routes 133/17 to end just past the town's snow dump.

It would create about a 2-mile loop from where the path starts behind the municipal building and back around.

A half-mile section of the Foundry Road Path opened in 2009. It stops past the Livermore Falls Sewer Treatment Plant, and nearly across from Verso Paper’s carry-in, carry-out boat ramp.

The second phase would pick up there.

Initially the town had planned to build the bike walk path to Shuy Corner but ended up shortening it to half the size as costs rose over the years.

It would be a 10-foot path to Shuy Corner and then a 5-foot wide sidewalk up routes 133/17.

Preble is working on a preliminary design for the project.

“The stretch along Foundry Road has a few challenges,” Preble said.

The overhead utility lines and restrictions of building too close to the Androscoggin River create a problem to put the path on the side of the road nearest the river.

The path now goes down the right side of the road from behind the municipal

building and crosses over to the left side just past the treatment plant.

Foundry Road resident Gail Cameron said the road was not a highway.

“I’m not having no walk way put there,” Cameron said of her front yard.

The path is proposed to be built in the town’s right-of-way, Board of Selectmen Chairman Bill Demaray said. A lot of people use the path, he said.

If the path is built there it would take away some of the grassy area in front of her house. She would also lose her privacy, she said.

“I’ve been there over 30-something years, what about us?” she asked.

People have been walking on the dirt road for years, she said. Put some tar down, she added.

The path would be paved but the road would remain dirt.

It really makes a lot of sense to continue the path on the side where it stops, Preble said.

It would require the removal of a few trees and building a small retaining wall in one area on Foundry Road, he said.

There is still some coordination to be done with the PanAm Railway, Preble said.

As the project goes around the corner from Foundry Road to routes 133/17 there would be some space where a small park and kiosk could be built.

There would also be a need for a small retaining wall on that section of the project.

At the town’s turn around at the snow dump area the entrances would be narrowed down.

“We’re looking to get the preliminary design report complete in April,” Preble said. They would like to have the final specifications together in June or July with construction hopefully in the fall.

John Noble, a resident on the road, said he was never notified of the hearing.

“I’m not too thrilled about the extension of the path,” he said.

Noble’s family member, Guy Palmieri agreed, he was not in favor.

dperry@sunjournal.com

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ERIC RODZEN's picture

Good neighbors?

Come on people, have some pride in our town. Put up a fence or some bushes if you need privacy. A nice paved walkway in front of your house is going to bother you? Move to a private road and maintain it yourself if you don't want the rest of us to use it. If you are going to live on a public road you cannot take your ball and go home. Sorry!

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