AUGUSTA — A project to move the state Department of Transportation’s fleet services maintenance garage off Capitol Street and onto 66 Industrial Drive is moving forward now that a property deal is finished.

“We hope we keep going the way we’re going,” said Dale Doughty, director of the transportation department’s Bureau of Maintenance & Operations. “Everyone’s been great.”

The state recently finalized the property deal, and a city zoning change allowing development of some of an adjacent lot goes into effect this weekend.

One part of the project — which has a $10.5 million budget and combines several other state operations — goes before the city Planning Board Nov. 12. The state is seeking a minor modification to erect several single-story structures in a parking area for cold storage, Doughty said. That would include equipment, supplies, sign blanks, and vehicles, including bucket trucks.

Matt Nazar, deputy director of development services for the city, said Planning Board members are already familiar with the proposed project since they had to review it before recommending the zoning change to the City Council. The Planning Board meeting begins at 7 p.m. at City Center in Augusta Council chambers, and the transportation project is first on the agenda.

The proposed modification also includes work to enlarge the office space in the main building, which is a 57,000-square-foot warehouse plus 4,500 square feet of office space. It was originally built in 1990 for Allen’s Transfer and Storage, a trucking company. The plan also calls for the installation of a 60-foot-tall radio tower.

“We’re enlarging the existing building to enlarge and refurbish office space and add truck wash bays and a sign shop,” Doughty said.

However, he said no work is anticipated at the Industrial Drive site until this winter because several other permits are pending, including soil and water permits from the Department of Environmental Protection as well as some wetland mitigation work being done in conjunction with the Maine Army National Guard.

Doughty said plans to relocate to the new site are fluid. “What we’d like to have is to get them into the new location late summer early fall, prior to winter operations,” he said Friday. “We may not make that, but that’s our goal.”

Once the project is completed, it is expected to house the following operations now located elsewhere in the city: Maine Department of Transportation Fleet Services and Region 2 Office, Bureau of General Services Fleet Services and Surplus Property as well as the Office of Information Technology Radio Operations.

The 66 Industrial Drive property, off Leighton Road near the intersection of Civic Center Drive, has been vacant for several years, and over the years has been vandalized and flooded when a pressurized sewer system backed up.

At its current site on Capitol Street, the heavy equipment maintenance garage site includes a 35,000-square-foot State Highway Commission building dating from 1920.

Betty Adams — 621-5631[email protected]Twitter: @betadams

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