JAY — The classic Maine saying, “you can’t get there from here,” takes on a new meaning for anyone trying to travel town roads still damaged following the June 29 heavy rain and flash flooding.

A tour of the roads Wednesday highlighted the extent of the damage.

There are still gaping holes in Hutchinson, Macomber Hill and Woodman Hill roads. Begin Road off Macomber Hill is also in need of repair. Temporary access has been set for those who live on the road.

Though many roads have been repaired and await paving, others require permits from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before structural repairs can begin.

Reconstruction on Woodman Hill Road is expected to start next week. A 140-foot culvert deep below the road and an overflow culvert above it at the high-water mark will be part of the fix, Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere said.

The cost of damage to the roads and 1,300 feet of sewer lines, in addition to creating temporary access for passage, is estimated to be $7.9 million. A federal disaster declaration has been granted to help pay for the repairs. The cost-sharing breakdown is typically 75% federal, 15% state and 10% local funds.


LaFreniere has been dealing with multiple severe storms this year. The town had some road damage in a May 1 storm, which had been repaired before the late June storm. She is working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency on the roads damaged in May and will be working with FEMA for the roads damaged in June.

Macomber Hill Road has the longest expanse of a washout. Culverts that had been in place when the road was intact were moved by the torrential rain and now lie a distance away to the side of the road.

A utility pole is isolated from both sides of the road. The guardrail posts are floating in the air held together by the stretch of rail. It is typically a well-traveled road.

Water on the Hutchinson Road had reached the roof of a van at the time. Three culverts that had been under the road have been moved to the side to create a temporary access road for people to travel around the damaged area.

This road will need an engineering design, permits from the Army Corps of Engineers, and officials will work with Federal Emergency Management Agency to get the road fixed, LaFreniere said. The town could get more money to fix the road better than it was before the storm.

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