FARMINGTON – Last week the road-stream crossing replacement project was completed along Cummings Hill
Road in the town of Farmington, near the border with the town of Temple. The improved road-to-stream crossing reduces flooding, improves road safety, and provides full passage for aquatic species in Cummings Creek.
“The replacement of culverts on Clover Mill Road in 2021 and Cummings Hill Road this year have brought great benefits to fish populations and wildlife. They have also helped improve transportation for local citizens, ”said Christian Waller, City Manager of Farmington.
Project partners in the two road crossing projects include the Town of Farmington, the Atlantic Salmon Federation or ASF, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Restoration Center, the US Fish and Wildlife Service Gulf of Maine Coastal Program, Acadia Civil Works, Maine Department of Marine Resources, et. EL Vining.
“This is a great example of a project improving the health of rivers while meeting the needs of local communities for infrastructure resilience,” said John Burrows, executive director of US operations for ASF. Prior to their replacement, both crossings had a long history of storm damage and washouts in addition to being barriers to fish passage.
In November 2018, voters in the Town of Farmington approved plans for the town to work in partnership with ASF to replace the two road crossings on Clover Mill and Cummings Hill Road and to remove the Walton’s Mill Dam and improve the park. Walton’s Mill. The work at Temple Stream is part of a larger effort to improve public infrastructure and restore habitat connectivity for native fish and wildlife throughout the Sandy River watershed, which is a habitat essential for endangered Atlantic salmon.
The $ 750,000 construction funding for the two stream projects includes the NOAA Community Restoration Program, the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Fish Passage Program, the Upgrade Grant Program municipal water crossings from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Maine Audubon, Eagle Creek Renewable Energy, Cascade Foundation, Trout and Salmon Foundation, Maine Department of Marine Resources and private sources.
ASF has been working for several years with city staff and a citizens’ committee to finalize the major renovation plan for Walton’s Mill Park and construction is expected to begin on the site in the spring of 2022. Park improvements include a new bathroom and a new pavilion, lighted trails and interpretive signage as well as complete landscaping with native plants. Removing the dam will improve the water quality and ecological health of Temple Stream, while reconnecting 52 miles of creek habitat with the Sandy River. The project will provide significant benefits to Atlantic salmon, eastern brook trout and several other endangered aquatic species.
For more information please contact:
Maranda Nemeth, Atlantic Salmon Federation Office: (207) 725-2833, [email protected]