AUGUSTA — Traffic should be back to two lanes Friday on Millikens Crossing Bridge just south of downtown Hallowell on Water Street.

The contractor doing preservation work on that bridge is finishing well ahead of schedule, earning a bonus from the state and giving commuters along the road, also designated as Route 27 and U.S. Route 201, a break.

For more than a month a traffic signal on each side of the bridge allowed traffic to flow in only one direction at a time, leaving some motorists idling their engines while waiting for the green light.

Gordon Contracting Inc. of Sangerville won the state contract for the bridge preservation project with a low bid of $472,777.17 and began work in late March. The contract called for a completion date of May 20.

Wayne Frankhauser, bridge program manager for the Maine Department of Transportation, said the final paving, pavement markings and final touches were being done Thursday, and he expected two-way traffic to begin Friday.

The early finish gains the contractor the maximum incentive of a $50,000 bonus, which was built into the contract.

“In this case, they’re succeeding despite all the rain and bad weather they’ve run across,” Frankhauser said.

While the cleanup work will continue for another week, Frankhauser said, that will not affect the traffic flow.

He said incentives are offered where the work has significant effect on traffic and because an early finish can save both drivers and the state money.

“The earlier they finish, the better it is for everybody,” he said.

Several other construction projects are planned along the route between Hallowell and Gardiner.

“That corridor has had a lot of construction over the past few years,” Frankhauser said. “Anything we can do to check off one of the pieces is good.”

Lou Berthel, owner and operator of Power Play Training at 301 Water St., which is next to the bridge, said he was happy to learn about the early finish.

He had raised concern earlier about the stalled traffic in front of his business affecting clients’ access to his parking lot.

However, he praised Gordon Construction for its response when he mentioned the problem.

“They were awesome,” he said. “When I asked if they could move that stop line, they did it within 15 minutes. They had a sign made for me saying ‘Power Play parking.'”

He said he allowed the workers to use his parking area except for the days when he needed it because he was hosting a large meeting, an arrangement that worked out well.

“They did everything they could to try to make the impact as light as possible,” Berthel said Thursday.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

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Twitter: @betadams