For those of us who thought we would put a man on Mars before Mount Vernon Avenue got fixed, there is great news. Our days of potholes, cursing and front-end alignments are almost behind us.

Tuesday evening at a City Center public meeting, Ernie Martin of Maine Department of Transportation explained that actual work on the project could begin next July. The rebuilding of the road will extend from Bond Brook all the way to University of Maine, Augusta, and will be staged over two construction seasons, finishing sometime in the summer of 2015.

While we undoubtedly will have to deal with noise, dust and backed-up traffic, that is the price of progress and MDOT has pledged to do all it can to minimize the impact on local commuters, homeowners and businesses. Specifically, it promises to keep two-way traffic going as much as possible and avoid heavy work at rush hour for the 12,000 vehicles passing that way every day. I know that the mayor, city council, manager and legislative delegation will do all we can to make them live up to those commitments.

I also have been assured that the project is not dependent on passing of the transportation bond this November, although there are great reasons to vote for that bond in any event.

The bottom line is that our collective bone-jarring nightmare is almost over.

Sen. Roger Katz

R-Augusta