Citywide Infrastructure Improvements – Oakland ME


New Deal federal works programs completed widespread infrastructure improvement projects throughout Oakland, Maine. Michael J. Denis’s report “Some Tidbits of Oakland History” details the following:

“Clyde G Blake, the new road commissioner, noted in 1934 that most roads were widened, 825 feet of stone base road was laid on Ten Lots Road, 3350 feet of state aid road was constructed on Fairfield Street, and 4000 feet of Rice’s Ripps Road, 900 feet of Summer Street, and 800 feet of Fairfield Street were resurfaced.

Hosea Ireland was back as commissioner in 1935. He noted 2950 feet of improved road on Fairfield Street, 900 feet on the Ten Lots Road, 4350 feet on the Pond Road. Graveling was done on the Country Club Road, East Pond Road, Rice’s Ripps Road, including planking the bridge, Water Street, Alpine Street, Pleasant Street, Ayer Street, Dunn Street, Heath Street, Oak Street, Gage Road, Holmes Road, Trafton Road, Summer Street, and School Street., all done with CWA, CWS or ERA works program from Nov 1933 to Feb 35.

In 1936 Fairfield Street was tarred to the town line. In the 1937 Town Report, sewer work was done on Water Street and

Fairfield Street — a WPA project., completed in Spring 1938. The project extended the sewer system from Winslow Square to Summer Street and Belgrade Avenue, a total of 3000 feet of sewer having been built. Some road work was reported on Oak Street, and East Pond Road beyond Clement’s Camps.

In 1937, 2505 feet of concrete sidewalk was built; 1200 feet of road was rebuilt on Oak Street; the East Pond Road was regraded and straightened; and the town began work on the Country Club Road. The town in 1938 found that the Rice’s Rips bridge was so badly decayed it had to be rebuilt; with WPA labor, the cost was only a little above amount appropriated for repairs. Oak Street repairs and rebuilding completed an additional 2400 feet. During Summer 1938, 800 feet of East Pond Road was built. Graveling and ditching was done on Town Farm Road, Mill Road, Gage Road, and Summer Street west of the overhead bridge. This overhead bridge was replaced with a new overpass as well, which lasted until it was rebuilt in the Summer of 1991.

By 1939, Cottle Road was half done; when done it would provide access to the Lewis Cemetery from either Webb Road or Town Farm Road. Summer Street was finished; Oak Street was improved 1800 feet (or 1000 feet beyond Hussey Hill Road), and many curves were removed. The town built 950 feet on McGrath Pond Road, anticipating increased summer travel when Belgrade completes its work connecting the road with Rte 135. At the Waterville end of Country Club Road, 1050 feet was built, and a hill was reduced in height. Garland Road (today Gagnon Road) saw 3600 feet graveled. And just in the nick of time, the sewer on Heath Street was connected 3 days before the opening of the new John S Tapley school.

WPA work ended in September 1940 when work was transferred to Waterville Airport in National Defense Program.”

Source notes

MJ Denis. "Some Tidbits of Oakland History."

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

Oakland, ME

Coordinates: 44.5402221, -69.72199499999999

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