DOT works with Army to swap out culverts

Posted Sept. 06, 2010, at 9:16 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 11:37 a.m.

DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — The Maine Department of Transportation plans to replace culverts in several areas in central Maine this fall, pending a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The DOT plans to place temporary and permanent fill material below the normal high-water mark of numerous bodies of water and wetlands at 10 locations throughout central Maine to repair, rehabilitate or replace existing deteriorated culverts.

“Whenever we replace a culvert with a larger one, we have to get a permit to do that from the Army Corps of Engineers,” DOT spokesman Mark Latti said Friday

Under the federal Clean Water Act, the DOT must file for a permit because the work might affect the habitat for Atlantic salmon, although the impacts are expected to be minimal under best management practices, say officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Latti said the DOT would need to remove dirt, replace the smaller culverts with larger ones, then put the dirt back into the river or brook.

The culverts to be replaced are in the communities of Sherman-Smyrna, Brownville, Atkinson, Enfield, Charleston, Meddybemps, Strong, Frankfort, Columbia Falls, Kenduskeag and Chesterville.

“The work is being conducted in response to federal and state stimulus efforts and is designed to address critical bridges and other structures that need immediate attention to ensure public safety and protect the economic vitality of Maine’s transportation network,” according to the corps of engineers.

Latti said he expects there will be no problem getting the permit.

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