FARMINGTON – The Franklin County Commissioners accepted a proposal from the State of Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands to perform repairs on the Byron Road, the access point for Tumbledown Mountain and associated trails.
The Byron Road in Township Six North of Weld suffered damages in a heavy rainstorm in late June. That was the only section of road that was damaged in Franklin County, so the county did not reach the minimum damages threshold to be eligible for federal disaster funding. Neighboring Oxford County sustained enough damages to be eligible for those funds.
The Bureau of Parks and Lands requested to hire a contractor to grade the entire county-owned road, install culverts, and a section of ditching. The cost of repairs is estimated at $15,000. The Bureau of Parks and Lands initially proposed grading the Byron Road but as they scoped out that project they determined that additional work, of installing two 18-inch diameter, 50-foot long culverts and ditching 275 feet, would be wise to ensure the grading work holds. These improvements are in the area of the Wagner lot on Byron Road.
The Bureau of Parks and Lands has committed to contributing up to $5,000 annually towards the road for the next five years, so this expense would mean they would not contribute to the roads next year or the year after, County Administrator Amy Bernard said.
County Road Commissioner Mike Pond had some reservations about the plan, saying he was unsure if the 18-inch culverts would be adequate for the length and purpose.
The county commissioners said they would like to talk with Parks and Lands to consider increasing the size of the culverts, but ultimately voted to approve the proposal for Parks and Land to have the work performed.