AUBURN — Water district crews should begin work next week maintaining a popular Lake Auburn overlook to curb erosion.

District Engineer Sid Hazelton said crews would begin maintenance work Monday on the 600-foot-long gravel turnout along Lake Shore Drive just north of Taber’s Lakeside Stand.

“One thing people really need to know is that we’re not taking anything away,” Hazelton said. “We know it’s a popular spot for people to park, and we’re not trying to change that. If anything, we hope we’re making it better.”

First, crews will replace gravel with larger pieces of granite ledge in several places that approach the water. That’s to give people a way to approach the shoreline without kicking gravel into the lake.

Crews will put grass seed and loam in other areas, replacing some gravel patches.

Crews will also test two erosion control  systems in designated parking areas. One uses interlocking plastic blocks filled with rocks. The second fills an expanded accordion-like structure with gravel. Both will replace standard gravel parking areas.

“We’re testing these for the state because there are several spots where they could be used,” Hazelton said.

The project is being funded with a $50,000 Federal Highway Authority Surface Water Quality Protection grant. The Maine Department of Transportation awarded the grant to the water district and is managing it. Water district crews are performing all of the work, Hazelton said.

The work is scheduled to begin Aug. 16 and continue for about a month. Hazelton said it will not close Lakeshore Drive, but could reduce traffic to a single lane at times. 

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