The road home
CPM Constructors and friends pitch in to help homeowners stranded after storm
When two Freeport homeowners were left stranded after a torrential downpour washed out the sole bridge connecting them to the town, they were feeling desperate, so they appealed to the public for help. The homes are on Turkey Ridge Lane, a private road not eligible for state or local funding, and the repair was estimated to cost from a prohibitive $80,000 to $100,000.
Andy Kittredge, project manager for CPM Constructors in Freeport, heard about their dilemma, and he knew he didn’t have $100,000 but he did have one thing: the willingness to try and harness the generosity of the construction industry, the town and others.
“The bridge over Allen Brook had completely washed away, so they were stuck – they couldn’t get in or out. I went to the owners of CPM and got their okay, and then I started making phone calls, and asking for donations.”
Kittredge decided to cast his net wide, and asked many companies for moderate donations – one piece of equipment or an operator, as opposed to an entire crew – because he knew firsthand this is the busiest time of year for the construction industry, when companies are scrambling to close down jobs before winter.
He also reached out to general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, truckers and materials suppliers. Some 15 companies agreed to donate equipment, labor, cash or materials to replace the culvert and restore the road for the two families. Finally, he was down to the last $4,500 needed to purchase the pipe that was provided at a steep discount. “At that point, I turned to Heather Shields – a realtor friend - and she generated donations from colleagues in the realty industry. So we are almost at our goal,” noted Kittredge.
Kittredge oversaw the installation of a six-foot corrugated metal pipe, and a three-foot overflow pipe. Next the crew moved 700 yards of fill to bring the roadway back up to grade, then installed 100 yards of gravel with 100 cubic yards of riprap to stabilize the slopes. They also installed recycled guardrail on the reconstructed bridge.
“I am just blown away by their generosity,” said homeowner and nurse Beth Toothaker.
Turkey Ridge Lane Bridge donors
- Anderson Equipment Company, Cumberland Center
- CPM Constructors, Freeport
- Chadwick-BaRoss, Inc., Westbrook
- Copp Excavation, Durham
- Scott Dugas Trucking & Excavating, Yarmouth
- Gendron & Gendron, Lewiston
- Matt Cartmell, Keller Williams Realty, Portland
- Ray Labbe & Sons, Brunswick
- Main Line Fence, Cumberland
- Midcoast Paving, Topsham
- Everett J. Prescott, Inc., Gardiner
- Sunbelt Rentals, Portland
- Heather Shields, Legacy Properties, Portland
- Doug Tourtelotte Excavation, Bowdoinham
- VHB – Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc., Portland