MDOT still seeking hillside erosion fix

MOUNT DESERT — The Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) is continuing to work on “preliminary design plans for a permanent drainage solution” to a storm water erosion problem in the village of Seal Harbor that was first brought to its attention nine years ago. 

An interim solution was implemented in 2016. 

In 2012, Sheridan Steele, then superintendent of Acadia National Park, said in a letter to MDOT officials that storm water runoff from Route 3, a state road, and Jordan Pond Road was causing serious erosion on a hillside above Stanley Brook. Both the hill and the brook are within the park’s boundary. 

“Large gullies have formed, and the erosion has felled numerous large-diameter trees,” Steele wrote. 

The storm water was flowing out of a pipe underneath the town’s dirt parking lot that is across Jordan Pond Road from the Seal Harbor fire station. 

The interim solution, completed four years later, was construction of an above-ground culvert to carry storm water more than 400 feet down the hill to the brook. To complete that project and an anticipated permanent solution, the MDOT obtained a five year “temporary storm water mitigation easement” from the town on Jordan Pond road. 

That easement is set to expire this September, so the MDOT wants to renew it for another five years. 

“It is the department’s intent to work to procure funding to construct [a new drainage system] once the preliminary design is complete and approved,” Randall Barrows, senior project manager of the MDOT Highway Program, said in an April 16 letter to the Mount Desert Board of Selectmen 

“A member from the department’s Right of Way Team will be contacting the Town of Mount Desert to renew the said easement in the near future.” 

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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