Road Projects – Bethel ME


Excerpts from the Annual Reports of the Officers of the Town of Bethel:

By contract with the C. W. A., Government to furnish an average of 30 men, 6 trucks, foreman and timekeeper, at a cost of $4,740.00 The Town to furnish gravel and two trucks at a cost of, estimated $860.00
Total amount for project, $5,600 00 To Feb. 1st, 1934, C. W. A. has paid for labor, $3,174 00 Town has contributed $541.23
$3,715 23
Still available from C. W. A. Fund, $1,884.77
When making this contract to give work to unemployed, we were mindful of the fact that there was no fund for this work. However it would put into circulation quite a lot of money in the town and help 30 families through the winter. The Selectmen were of the idea that putting this gravel on the back roads would help enough so we could take the amount spent on this project by the town out of the annual appropriation for Roads and Bridges for 1934.

Road Commissioner
C. W. A. work, 1933-34, Town Share, $687.58 Overdrawn, $521.20.
This overdraft on account of taking out the price of Bethel’s share of the C. W. A. work last winter for gravel and labor.

Rec’d of Joe Stevens, reimbursement, $22.00 Bethel Inn, culverts, $72.72 Part of Excise Tax overlay to balance, $1326.22 $1,420.94
Your Selectmen finding the condition of the Town Roads in other sections of the town to be so badly washed, and realizing the large expense to the town to repair them, decided to ask for a W. P. A. flood project for Mill Hill, Grover Hill and part of the North West Bethel road. This project was granted and started on April 13 continuing until Sept. 28, giving employment to over 20 men and 4 trucks.
Mill Hill has been rebuilt permanently, ditches cemented and sewer repaired, with metal culverts at the driveways, and the Hill has been heavily tarred to meet the cement ditches. This Hill should need no repairs for a long time.
Your Town Officers realizing that not as much money as usual would be required for 3rd Class Maintenance, as there were good prospects of completing the Songo 3rd Class Road with 3rd Class and W. P. A. funds, thought it advisable to use as much of the 3rd Class Maintenance Money, as they could, for tar. Consequently the road was tarred from the turn at Herman Mason’s to L. E. Davis’ mill, a distance of about one- half mile. Your present Town Officers feel that in 1938 this road from Davis’ mill to Middle Intervale should be tarred from 3rd Class Maintenance money, as far as possible.
THIRD CLASS ROAD (Songo Road)— W. P. A. Balance unexpended, 1936, $1,369.55

This account covers the balance of our 1936 3rd Class Road money and was expended from Feb. 1, 1937 to June 8, 1937 to match W. P. A. Funds on the construction of our 3rd Class Songo Road. This money was expended from the foot of Mill Hill to Woodlawn Cemetery a distance of nine-tenths of a mile. On June 8, 1937 the W. P. A. Project closed leaving none of the road completed. The road has been completed however with 3rd Class funds as printed in the following accounts.
The Songo W. P. A. 3rd Class Road Project was completed Dec. 6, 1937. Your Selectmen realizing fully the unemployment situation and the absolute impossibility of men finding jobs at the time, asked the Works Progress Administration to continue a project in our town. They consented to do so. Accordingly your Selectmen decided to make all improvements possible on the Northwest Bethel Road and the W. P. A. men were moved on Dec. 7, 1937. There are at present 46 men and 5 trucks on the project. Your Selectmen feel the expense is justified and is more than offset by the benefits to the Welfare Department.

W. P. A. Northwest Road, $910.94
$500.00 was raised to apply Tarvia to this road. It was all expended for tar. A coat of surface gravel was applied to this road from its junction with State highway “ O” Route 2, extending beyond Riverside Cemetery, a distance of a little over one-half mile, and the Tarvia applied. The labor on this road was furnished by W. P. A.
We had planned, when we asked for 1% times the usual State-Aid appropriation last town meeting, to expend the money as a continuation toward the Greenwood Town Line on State-Aid Road No. 2. However during the muddy season of last spring part of the section of State-Aid, constructed some years ago beginning at East Bethel and extending towards Lockes Mills, was impassable. The State suggested this piece of road be rebuilt this past summer so as to give no further trouble and also be acceptable for tar. This was done with W. P. A. labor and 4,700 feet was constructed.

W. P. A. Appropriation $600.00 Bethel Inn, 1 culvert $54.02 Part of Overlay $324.93
Available $978 95 W. P. A. projects were obtained to furnish labor and trucks on our State-Aid road construction. Third Class road construction and Special Resolve road construction. W.P.A. have furnished about all the labor, varying from 25 to 50 men and from one to three trucks and drivers for all this construction. This fact has enabled us to build about three times the amount of roads we would otherwise have been able to build. We hope that at our annual meeting in March the voters will think it wise to vote a reasonable sum of money to continue a W. P. A. Project.
Our W. P. A. money for 1939 was expended as a beginning on the construction of the Sunday River Road. With our W. P. A. appropriation and our 1939 Special Resolve money ($1,000.00) we constructed a State-Aid Road from the black road at Swan’s Corner 2850 feet on the Sunday River road. This is a little over half the distance to the Newry Town Line.
We have an allotment of $1,000.00 Special Resolve money in 1940. We have anticipated this money and began work with W. P. A. help to complete this road to the Newry line and by spring we shall have a completed State-Aid road to the Newry Town Line.
We were only able to build this road with the amount of money we had available because we were fortunate enough to be able to obtain a W. P. A. Project to furnish the labor and some of the trucks. This has been of great assistance to the town to help extend our road money and give labor to many who otherwise would have been unable to find work.
This road is about .9 of a mile in length and should be tarred as soon as possible in order to save the road.

W. P. A.
We used our W. P. A. project this year to assist with our Special Resolve, State Aid and Third Class Construction. We have been able to build about three times the amount of roads that we would have been able to build without the assistance of a W. P. A. project. We were able to complete and tar all the Sunday River road, a distance of .9 of a mile.
4000 feet of Third Class road was built, which finishes the construction of the river road from, Bethel Village to East Bethel. 6450 feet of this road which was built in 1939 was tarred and about a mile of old road was also tarred, with Third Class Maintenance money. There remains about 4 1/2 miles of this road to be tarred.
1950 feet of State Aid road was constructed and tarred this summer and in addition tar was spread on .84 miles of road built in 1939. There remains about 1/3 mile of road to be built and tarred near William G. Holt’s house to complete the road from Locke Mills to East Bethel. A W. P. A. Project is working on this piece of road at the present time, and your municipal officers sincerely hope that money will be appropriated at the annual town meeting to continue with this work.
Appropriation $1,000 00
Paid Payrolls, labor $9.99 Truck hire $272.10 Supplies, D. G. Brooks $5.57 Gravel, William C. Chapman 143.10 Lumber, P. H. Chadbourne Co. 1.05 Culverts, N. E. Metal Culvert Co. 40.42:
$472 23
Unexpended balance $527.77

Source notes

Annual Reports of the Officers of the Town of Bethel.

Project originally submitted by Andrew Laverdiere on September 26, 2018.

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


Location Info

29 Sunday River Rd.
Bethel, ME 04217

Coordinates: 44.4483413, -70.8095933

Leave a Reply

Before leaving a comment, please note:

  • Comments allow viewers to share information with others or alert us to errors or changes in a New Deal site.
  • We are not involved in the management of New Deal sites and have no information about visits, hours or rentals.
  • This page shows all the information we have for this site; if you have new information or photos to share, click below.


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

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.