Need Help Fixing Your Private Gravel Road?
Most private gravel roads need repair every spring. Money is spent bringing in loads of gravel to replace what washed away over the winter and during spring rains. Where does that gravel go? Some folks think the gravel stays in the ditches but actually it washes out of those as well, straight to the nearest brook, stream and lake.
According to Kathy Hoppe with DEP, “Year after year MDEP assists local associations with watershed surveys documenting pollution sites in lake watersheds; and year after year the biggest, most common problems are related to roads. If we are going to improve or protect the water quality of our lakes, we need to address gravel erosion from our roads.”
Some of the most challenging roads to fix are those that are privately owned, with or without a road association. “The ones without a road association can be particularly problematic as they don’t have a formal organization to help raise funds to get the needed work done”, adds Kristin Feindel, also of the DEP. This is where the Guide to Forming Road Associations can help.
While both Hoppe and Feindel say it is not hard to form a road association, they admit it takes time and commitment. To make the job easier, DEP, with the help of the local Soil & Water Conservation Districts will be offering 2 workshops introducing the Guide Friday, June 10, 1:30 – 3:30 at Jeff’s Catering - East/West Industrial Park, 15 Littlefield Way, Brewer and June 24th from 1:30 -3:30 pm at the Center for All Seasons, Belgrade. Feindel added that there are often legal questions and concerns so DEP has arranged to have an attorney present.
Feindel asks that anyone planning on attending to please contact her ahead of time to ensure there are enough materials available for everyone. She can be reached at Kristin.B.Feindel@Maine.gov or (207) 287-5586.
The Guide and appendices can be found on DEP’s web site. Look for the link to Camp Roads at www.MaineDEP.com.
In addition, DEP and the Soil & Water Conservation Districts are offering technical assistance to a limited number of road associations in evaluating and developing a plan for maintenance issues for private unpaved roads in lake watersheds. As Hoppe explains, “While road maintenance isn’t rocket science, there is science and engineering behind good road construction and maintenance. We have developed a road evaluation tool that we would like to pilot with a few road associations around the state.” For road associations interested in participating in the road evaluation pilot, please contact Kathy Hoppe at Maine DEP Kathy.M.Hoppe@Maine.gov. or 207-760-3134.
The single largest pollutant to Maine lakes is soil and the greatest source is private unpaved roads. Is your road one of them? Learn what you can do to ensure your road isn’t harming your lake by visiting www.MaineDEP.com
University of Maine