BLUE HILL — Recent demands from the Maine Department of Transportation have sent the town’s sewer extension plans back to the drawing board.
Selectman John Bannister said April 16 that he was overwhelmed when he learned the MDOT would require that pipes extending the town’s sewer line down South Street must be installed some 30 feet from the side of the road, rather than within feet of the existing road shoulder as indicated in preliminary designs.
Bannister said that moving the sewer line farther from the road would require the removal of numerous old-growth trees, rock walls, fences and natural buffer zones between the road and residences at several locations along the proposed project that would extend the sewer line from the Congregational Church on Tenney Hill to the top of the hill and down South Street to the Barncastle restaurant.
Bannister initially said that fallout over the prospect of taking down trees and disrupting private rock walls could be so severe as to jeopardize the entire project. A meeting with MDOT officials Friday morning, April 17, eased those fears, but at their meeting Friday afternoon, selectmen were cautiously optimistic about coming up with a design that would please the MDOT and spare many of the existing trees along the proposed extension route.