2017-11-08 / Front Page

Special Town Meeting will address flood damage

By Dee Menear Irregular Staff Writer


Campbell Field Bridge, washed out during last week’s flooding rains, sits on the bank of the Carrabassett River. The bridge is not salvageable. (Dee Menear photo) Campbell Field Bridge, washed out during last week’s flooding rains, sits on the bank of the Carrabassett River. The bridge is not salvageable. (Dee Menear photo) CARRABASSETT VALLEY — The Board of Selectmen met Friday, Nov. 3 and set in motion a plan to repair substantial storm damage to trails, bridges and roads. Last week’s flooding rain washed out the Campbell Field Bridge, damaged the Huston Brook Bridge, a 1,000-foot section of the Narrow Gauge Pathway, and the Outdoor Center Access Road. There was also extensive damage to an interior Outdoor Center road from the warming hut to the top of trail 50.

Town Manager Dave Cota said he was in touch with Franklin County Emergency Management to determine if Federal Funding would be available for any of the projects. “It is unknown at this time. However, we will keep good documentation of work completed in the event funding becomes available,” he said.


While Narrow Gauge Pathway is not accessible from Campbell Field, it is accessible from Maine Huts & Trails parking lot to the north and from the recreational parking lot behind SugarBowl to the south. (Dee Menear photo) While Narrow Gauge Pathway is not accessible from Campbell Field, it is accessible from Maine Huts & Trails parking lot to the north and from the recreational parking lot behind SugarBowl to the south. (Dee Menear photo) Cota reported the Campbell Field Bridge could not be salvaged. As of Friday, the majority of the bridge was situated on the southern bank of the river about 100 yards downstream from its original location. This is the second time the bridge was washed out; the first being during Hurricane Irene in 2011. At that time, the bridge was hauled out of the river, repaired and placed back in service. Several people, including contractors, have said the bridge is not salvageable.

Cota said the bridge, which was built in the 1980s and had no concrete abutments or wing walls, had served its purpose well. “Every other bridge on the system held up well,” Cota said.

While the Narrow Gauge Pathway received significant damage, Cota said it was not nearly as much damage as had occurred during Irene. In addition to damage to approximately 1,000 feet of trail, mostly through the “S-turns,” there were washouts at the North Bridge and damage to the Maine Huts & Trails parking lot. The Huston Brook Bridge will need a new deck and new rock, gravel and surface work on the southern end.

The Board of Selectmen has called a Special Town Meeting for Tuesday, Nov. 14 to vote on two articles relating to storm damage. First, to see if voters will approve expending up to $70,000 from Unappropriated Surplus for repairs to the Narrow Gauge Pathway. Second, to see if voters will approve expending up to $20,000 from the same account for engineering costs associated with a new bridge at Campbell Field.

If voters are in favor of moving forward with a new bridge design, approving costs related to building it would be put before them at a future Town Meeting. Cota explained a new bridge could be much like the Bruce Manzer Recreational Bridge at the Airport Trailhead.

Cota stressed that while it is not possible to access the Narrow Gauge Pathway from Campbell Field, the trail is still accessible from the Maine Huts & Trails parking area at the northern end and from the parking area behind SugarBowl at the southern end.

With the exception of the Campbell Field Bridge, the plan is to have repair work complete before winter. “It does not appear that replacing the bridge before winter is possible,” Cota noted.

Selectmen approved spending a total of $15,000 from the Town Road account and Public Lot fund for repairs to the Outdoor Center roads.

“We are not fooling around. There is a lot of activity going on behind the scenes in order to fix flood damage before winter,” Cota stated.

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