Tuftonboro weighs what to do with Lang Pond Road


November 01, 2012
TUFTONBORO — Tuftonboro is seeking an estimate of design costs from H.E. Bergeron Engineers, Inc. for an erosion control project along Lang Pond Road. The upper part of the gravel road, which begins beside the Libby Museum off Route 109 north in Wolfeboro, crosses the Tuftonboro boundary line, and runs alongside Mirror Lake on its way to Route 109A.

The question put to the Board of Selectmen by Josh McAllister, Senior Project Manager at H.E. Bergeron at its Oct. 22 meeting, was whether it wants a design for a gravel road or a paved road. The primary goal, said McAllister, is to control sedimentation.

Dusty Davies, President of the Mirror Lake Protective Association (MLPA), who is well-versed in the effect of run-off into the lake on water quality, joined the discussion, stating first her appreciation that the town is addressing the issue of erosion.

She noted that flooding over the surface of the road from the wetlands opposite the lake is one issue the MLPA is aware of, another is runoff that carries phosphorus laden soil particles down the hill and into the water, increasing nutrient levels. Excess nutrients encourage the growth of algae, reduce water clarity, and enhance conditions for the toxic blue green algae that have been spotted in Mirror Lake in the past.

"There are multiple issues with different constituencies," said Davies. There are environmentally-conscious residents who would like to see the road left as it is, a dirt road that encourages a slower pace and reduced traffic, versus truck drivers who cut through six months of the year. Some residents complain of the headlights at night.

She posed the question, "What do you want the road to be?" She suggested that Waumbeck Road can be used for commercial use and pointed out that paving the road would likely increase traffic and prompt requests to keep the road open during the winter.

Davies also noted that in this summer's upgrade of the road starting from Route 109 (320 feet in Wolfeboro, 154 feet in Tuftonboro), the Wolfeboro Conservation Commission spoke strongly against paving. The objections of two homeowners who preferred paving to keep the dust down were met by the application of magnesium chloride to the road, a means to bind fine dust and aggregate and stabilize the soil.

Paving would leave a 320 foot gap between the paved section and the recently upgraded Wolfeboro and Tuftonboro sections.

McAllister said that a gravel road would cost less but require more maintenance with particular attention to keeping the culverts clear. A paved road would cost more to build and if kept open all year round would raise the issue of salt and sand from road maintenance ending up in the water. It would require less maintenance but also involve a "significant alignment change." Whatever option is chosen, he said he could design either.

He mentioned building a low profile bridge to increase the capacity of the crossings and noted that a box culvert would allow a larger amount of water flow. He would design to the Department of Transportation standard, which is a 100-year storm event.

The Board said that it would like to discuss the options with Road Agent Jim Bean and invited McAllister to join them in meeting with the Capital Improvements Program committee at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 1, in the Hamel meeting room at the Tuftonboro Public Library.

The two options would involve two different designs. McAllister said he didn't know how much design money was in the contract, but he would sketch out some numbers for the two options for the meeting to aid in decision-making.

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