AUGUSTA — Proposed changes are coming to Exit 113 of Interstate 95, the Route 3 connector to the interstate and along Old Belgrade Road to Route 27 — all in support of the new regional hospital rising in north Augusta.

The public can weigh in on proposed road changes at a preliminary public hearing, 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 11 at Sylvio Gilbert Elementary School, 16 Sunset Ave.

The changes are aimed at allowing motorists more convenient access to the $312 million regional hospital under construction near the adjacent Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care.

Ernest Martin, project manager for the Maine Department of Transportation, said the meeting will include a large map of the proposed design.

“We hope that we get a lot of people showing up,” Martin said. “We want them to look at the design and we want to hear comments. Maybe we’re not seeing everything out there.”

Part of the presentation will be done by Ourston Roundabout Engineers of Madison, Wis., which has offered designs for two traffic circles it said would allow smooth travel without much modification of the current interchange.

“We want to utilize as much of the footprint as possible,” Martin said. “For most part, we will use those on- and off-ramps exactly as they are today.”

Plans call for wider shoulders along Old Belgrade Road and improvements at intersections with Middle and Bog roads.

Other changes will allow Old Belgrade Road to intersect with Route 27 at more of a 90-degree angle, Martin said. The intersection will also have a traffic signal.

The changes will affect some property owners, Martin said. Those details remain to be worked out. He said individual property owners with concerns can speak to staff after the public meeting.

Martin said state highway planners and designers are working closely with representatives of the city and MaineGeneral Medical Center — which is building the hospital — on the road configurations.

“Being on the same page is a good thing,” Martin said.

He projected a timetable for the road project:

* October: preliminary public hearing

* February: formal public meeting

* January 2013: project bids advertised

Martin said construction will be scheduled alongside that of the hospital, with the intent of completing it just before the hospital’s projected summer 2014 opening.

Road construction costs were estimated at $11 million, and the project has $10.8 million in funding.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]


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