FARMINGTON — Work on the Whittier Road riverbank erosion began Wednesday morning, Public Works Director Denis Castonguay said in a release.

An access road to the erosion site along the Sandy River is expected to be finished by the end of the day, he said.

An excavator started work at the top of the bank and will create a 20 percent or less slope, using proper erosion control measures to provide access for the work.

Most of the pilings are on site with tree logs and root wads expected to start arriving Wednesday. About 300 yards of 3- to 4-foot rocks are on site with about 100 yards of 4-foot to 12-foot round rock, he said.

The section of Whittier Road was closed Monday to allow the work to progress, Town Manager Richard Davis told selectmen Tuesday.

Two excavators and some Red Pine logs were already on site, he said.


The town will use a nearby storage area for construction materials on Route 156. It was previously used by the Maine Department of Transportation when it worked on Route 156, Davis said.

A consultant with the U.S. Forest Service is expected to arrive by the end of the week to oversee construction of the riverbank stabilization project. The town contracted with the U.S. Forest Service enterprise unit this summer to provide help with the design and construction.

The contractor, E.L. Vining & Sons, is confident it can get the work done before the end of the month, when a period of low-water ends, Davis told the board.

“We think it will be OK,” he said of what looks like a solution to the erosion and riverbank stabilization needed after Tropical Storm Irene caused damage in August 2011.

The eroding slope has threatened that portion of Whittier Road, causing town officials to make regular checks during the past two years as funding and work plans were negotiated.

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