Municipal Road Work – Ellsworth ME


A 1939 municipal report detailed extensive New Deal work in the area:

“No appropriation was made for the purpose of constructing sidewalks during the year, but the maintenance department repaired a few short sections of sidewalk on Franklin Street and Water Street, and the W. P. A. constructed a sidewalk on Pine Street in conjunction with the rebuilding of that street as a joint Third Class Construction and W. P. A. Project.

During the construction period of 1939 all major activities were in conjunction with the W. P. A. Under this arrangement the city or the state in each case furnished the money for materials and equipment and the W. P. A. furnished the labor.

At the time the present City Manager was appointed by the City Council the W. P. A. was engaged in the reconstruction of East Maple Street. Early in May the W. P. A. resident engineer was transferred to another town and the foreman resigned. The W. P. A. sent to Ellsworth a new foreman and the construction of East Maple Street was concluded under his direction. The cost to the city of this project was nearly $1.00 per square yard of finished pavement. The W. P. A. crew was then transferred to the Austin Hill Road in North Ellsworth. During the summer months this crew turnpiked, ditched, graded and to some extent placed gravel on the following roads: Austin Hill from the Bangor Road to the OrlancI Line; Boggy Brook road for a distance of about two and one-half miles; the Phillips road from the end of the surface treated area to the end of that road; the Wincumpaugh road from the Bucksport road to the city wood lot. On two of these roads the construction was carried on in conjunction with the state fund for the Maintenance of Unimproved Roads. The financial summary will show this account to be overdrawn $152.05 but the city manager believes that this overdraft was justified by the amount of work accomplished.

Main Street from the Union River Bridge extending toward the Surry line was selected as the street to be rebuilt by state aid funds. Work was begun by the W. P. A. crew upon the completion of Pine Street and continued until the depth of frost made the work too expensive. Thus far we have completed the excavation and the gravel base from the Hancock House to the beginning of the State Road with the exception of a short portion in front of the Dorgan place and about one hundred feet at the west entrance to the Black Estate. It was necessary to install tile underdrain for a distance of eleven hundred feet on one side of this street. Three catch-basins and two junction boxes were installed to care for drainage. Ledge was encountered for a distance of five hundred feet. The ledge was removed and the standard twenty inch gravel base installed. Black’s Hollow, so-called, has been filled for an average depth of more than two feet.

It is estimated that relief costs in the city have been decreased at least one third by the W. P. A. This agency gives employment to at least thirty-five men on the average, at a wage of $10.72 weekly. This income must, in some cases, be supplemented by city aid particularly where large families are involved. Moreover the work accomplished by these men is a valuable asset to the public works department, and the results accomplished under a good foreman give these men ample cause for pride in their work. During November and December preliminary work was done and materials were purchased for a Sewing Project for the employment of women. This project will begin operation in January and will employ between fifteen and twenty women. The men employed by the W. P. A. have been engaged, since the termination of construction of Bridge Hill, in cutting the trees from the right of way along the Wincumpaugh Road. The wood resulting from this operation has been reserved for distribution to the welfare cases.”

Source notes

Annual Report of the City of Ellsworth Maine
For the year, ended December 31 1939

Project originally submitted by Andrew Laverdiere on May 30, 2014.

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


Location Info

Ellsworth, ME 04605

Location notes: General marker for the town of Ellsworth.

Coordinates: 44.5434095, -68.41946410000003

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