WINSLOW — A reconstruction project at the Winslow municipal track has hit its stride, according to Director of Public Works Paul Fongemie.

“Everything is going very well,” he said.

The track, which had fallen into disrepair in recent years, is undergoing a reconstruction and should reopen by the end of next month.

Work began July 25. Excavation is being performed by town employees and a local contractor. Next, Maine Tennis & Track — a surfacing company based in Gray — is scheduled to take over the project Thursday. They will pave the track with asphalt and then roll on several layers of rubber to a total of three-eighths of an inch.

Fongemie said the pavement from the old track has been removed and new gravel has been trucked in.

“We’re in the process of grading it right now,” Fongemie said Thursday.

Splitting construction duties between the surfacing company and the town could potentially save taxpayers more than $20,000, Town Manager Michael Heavener. Last month, Maine Tennis & Track estimated they could do the work for $40,000; the town, in partnership with local contractor Steve Martin, estimated they could do the same work for $15,000 to $20,000.

On July 9, the Town Council unanimously authorized the town to borrow money for the project. Since then, Maine Tennis & Track increased the estimate for its share of the work by $4,600 to $171,900, Heavener said. The company increased the estimate in order to supervise the town’s work, which will allow the company to provide a warranty on the overall project.

At the July meeting, Councilor Kenneth Fletcher said he was in favor of the project, but wanted to see bids from more companies. Heavener sent requests for bids to two other companies, but neither replied, he said.

“Maine Tennis & Track is the only company of its kind in the state,” Heavener said. “It’s my understanding that the competitors tend to be higher because they also have travel and lodging expenses. If I had to guess, I’d say that’s why they didn’t consider the proposal.”

The track, which opened in 1986, was a victim of neglect, Winslow High School Athletic Director Carrie Larrabee has said. It required resurfacing every 10 years, but it was only resurfaced once, in 1996. As a result, the rubber surface had worn away, and the asphalt beneath had deteriorated.

The track has been closed to competitive events for two seasons.

The council authorized the town to borrow up to $200,000 through a three-year loan at 1.9 percent. If everything goes as planned, the track will open Sept. 28, Heavener said.

Ben McCanna — 861-9239

[email protected]

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