KINGFIELD — As the costs to rebuild the deteriorating Tufts Pond Road continue to increase, taxpayers may have to decide in 2019 how, rather than if, they want to fix the problems.
Jan Wiegman, a project manager for Wright-Pierce of Topsham, told selectmen Monday night that rebuilding the severely deteriorated base, ditching along the edges, replacing culverts, paving and coating with a chip seal surface would cost about $1 million.
Voters have options to pay for the construction project, and they have options for the schedule of work, he said, but they don’t have the option of ignoring the continuing erosion and safety issues that eventually will make the road unsafe for vehicular traffic.
One section of the road has water seeping from the base to the surface regularly, caused mostly by poor drainage.
“The water can’t get out of the base to begin with,” Wiegman said. “The current structure under the pavement is not deep enough to support proper drainage.”
“The road gets its strength from the base,” he said.
There are drainage issues along the sides of the roads, caused by an accumulation of winter sand. Culverts should be replaced, and additional culverts should be added to improve runoff, he advised.
Selectmen could choose to use less gravel in the base, but he cautioned against trying to cut corners too much.
Wiegman suggested that if selectmen decide to do the project, they should ask for bids in early spring. Contractors are more willing to do the job before their busy summer season.
Selectmen also reviewed the possibility of timing the project to coincide with the Maine Department of Transportation’s repaving project, which may be in 2020.
In other business, selectmen accepted the resignation letter from Regional School Unit 58 director Johanna Prince and agreed to find a replacement for the remainder of her term. Prince recently accepted a position as principal of the Kingfield Elementary School.
Former Assistant Fire Chief Dan Brown said he and others want selectmen to know of issues that affected the proper operation of the Fire Department, including safety, chain of command and respect. He presented each with a packet of information and asked them to review their concerns.
Kingfield Elementary School students, from left, Mikey Savoy-Emmons, Landon Russell, Anni Ziehler and Davey Savoy-Emmons, present selectmen Monday evening with their project to reduce plastics in the environment. The four attended the Carrabassett Valley Outdoor Adventure Camp this summer. (Valerie Tucker photo)