A culvert on Sanborn Road that has been a headache for the town has been replaced. 

After a three-week closure for construction, Monmouth Town Manager Curtis Lunt said the road will reopen by early next week.

The culvert, which is near the intersection with Route 135, had been in use from the early 1980s. The bottom is rusted through, so water was able to leak out of it and erode the ground beneath it.

“It had flooded out repeatedly every couple years over the road,” Lunt said. “It wasn’t big enough.”

The culvert allows drainage from a marsh into Jug Stream, the outlet of Annabessacook Lake that flows into Cobbossee Lake.

The 5-foot culvert was holding the water back, though, Lunt explained. In the spring when the water was high, it would dam behind the culvert, eventually flowing over Sanborn Road and washing it out, causing temporary closures


“That area is plagued with beavers,” Public Works Director Bruce Balfour said in April 2018 after the road flooded in the spring last year, causing a closure. 

The old structure was replaced with an approximately 10-by-17 box culvert. From a distance, Lunt said, it looks similar to a bridge. 

“It is about three times the size it was before and should allow a lot better waterflow,” he said.

The cost of the project, which was contracted to L.P. Poirier of Lewiston, was $180,000. The town received a Stream Crossing Grant from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection that matched the town’s investment of $90,000. 

In order for the project to be completed, Lunt said, the town had to receive federal permission through the Army Corps of Engineers to work on the waterway, because “it is an ecologically sensitive area.”

The DEP grant is designed for stream crossings to maintain water flow and protect wildlife, including fish. 

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