Chesterville Selectpersons signed the contract for work on the Sandy River Road Thursday, July 2. Severely undersized culverts that easily clog with debris make this site highly susceptible to failure during a flood event. File photo

CHESTERVILLE — Issues with easements needed for the Sandy River Road project have been resolved, according to selectperson chairman Tiffany Estabrook, and ditching work began Wednesday, August 19.

The road is open to local traffic only, with 6-8 weeks of full road closure expected later in August to replace culverts.

In April, the select board approved spending $33,000 for preliminary work on the project. Total project cost is estimated at $307,800.

The 30 Mile River Watershed Association has been awarded two grants to help fund the project:

• $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.


At the June 1, town meeting, voters approved $300,000 for capital roads projects. Some of that will go towards the Sandy River Road project.

In July, the new board moved forward with the project and agreed to pave 50 feet of road to complete previously done work.

To complete the project, the town needed easements from landowners Deborah Cayer, Evan Karp and Mark Tenney.

At a July 30 selectpersons meeting, concerns were raised about impacts to 2 stone walls on the Karp property. Also mentioned was restricting truck usage on Sandy River Road to reduce damage to the road afterwards.

Selectperson chairman Tiffany Estabrook said more than a year would be needed to make a change on the weight limits allowed.

Part of the due diligence will include research, checking with Maine Municipal Association on weight limits, she added.


“Have some faith in the board, allow us the time to do that,” Estabrook said.

The road will be closed 6-8 weeks for the project, she added.

Selectman Guy Iverson said no Chesterville road had been built for these trucks.

“It’s a moving problem, need to keep that in mind,” he said.

The board would look into a speed study for the Sandy River Road once the project is done, Estabrook said.

At a specially called board meeting August 17, Estabrook said a resolution on the easements had been met.


Selectperson Linda Bauer had previously met with some landowners and others invested in the project at the site.

Bauer said the 2 stonewalls were left from the mill once located on the side of the stream. One will remain and the other dispersed, with some stones being used for the project.

Bauer said she spoke about creating a bench with a plaque on it using some of the stones. The son loved that, she added.

“There’s a lot of history down there,” Bauer said.

There is a deadline for completing the work this year because of Atlantic Salmon, Estabrook said.

“As long as there’s a plan, DEP is OK with replacing culverts this year and finishing the project next year if we can’t get the easements this year,” Estabrook said.

On Wednesday Estabrook said details of when the road was to be completely closed would be sent to the media and published on the town’s website,, and Facebook page.



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