AUGUSTA — Mount Vernon Avenue will be closed between Bond Street and Bond Brook Road to all but local traffic beginning at 2 a.m. Sunday.

The detour is expected to last “until Monday morning,” according to a news release from the Greater Augusta Utilities District.

The utility is in the midst of a sewer reconstruction project that will affect traffic throughtout the period of the work.

All northbound traffic will be detoured at the Bond Street intersection to Route 104, also known as Northern Avenue. Travelers should seek alternative routes to expedite their trip as this location may be congested with traffic.

All southbound traffic will be detoured at two locations: Bond Brook Road or Townsend Road.

All travelers should expect delays Monday morning and plan to use an alternative route.

FPL Energy grants state easement

AUGUSTA — FPL Energy Maine Hydro LLC, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, has granted a conservation easement on 1,278 acres, including 52 miles of shoreline, around Indian Pond to the state through the Maine Department of Conservation.

According to a news release from the governor’s office, the conservation easement at Indian Pond in Sapling Township, a prime outdoor recreation area at the headwaters of the Kennebec River, is “significant.”

The decision is part of a settlement agreement related to the utilit company’s re-licensing of the Harris Dam in Indian Stream Township, Maine’s largest hydropower project,

As a result, a shoreland buffer around Indian Pond, including extensive wetlands and wildlife areas, deep- and shallow-water fish habitats, recreational facilities and scenic landscape, will be protected from further development, according to state officials. The Somerset County area is expected to be an important part of Maine’s eco-economy initiative, according to the Office of the Governor.

Indian Pond, located southwest of Moosehead Lake, is 3,746 acres in area, 9 miles long and 1.5 miles wide, with a total of 64 miles of shoreline, owned almost in its entirety by NextEra Energy Resources. The pond has been designated by the state as “a wetland of special significance.” Outside the conserved shorelands, the pond is surrounded by land owned by NextEra Energy Resources, Central Maine Power Company and Plum Creek.

Under the terms of the easement, the Indian Pond lands are “maintained in perpetuity in their undeveloped, natural state” and may be used for “educational uses, conservation purposes, and for low-impact public access and recreation … that are consistent with backcountry values and current uses.” No commercial timber harvesting will be allowed.

Compiled from staff reports

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