The state Department of Transportation is finalizing plans to improve Main Street through the Belgrade Lakes village area and has scheduled a preliminary public meeting for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Center for All Seasons to discuss those improvements.

The meeting will follow a brief meeting of the Belgrade Board of Selectpersons, which begins at 6:15 p.m.

It is one of the last remaining sections of Route 27 to be worked on and has proved particularly sensitive because it is the only roadway along a narrow isthmus between Great and Long ponds.

Owners of several businesses in the area have voiced concerns that road reconstruction would disrupt their livelihoods.

Timing of the construction work is critical to business and property owners in the village.

In February, more than 50 people turned out at a public meeting to offer opinions about when, how and whether the state should rebuild Route 27 where it passes through Belgrade Lakes village.

The project involves a full reconstruction of the section of the road between the West Road intersection and the bridge over Mill Stream.

At the close of that 90-minute public hearing, the board voted 5-0 to ask the state that the proposed road reconstruction be given “the highest priority” and included in the department’s 2015-16 Capital Work Plan.

At that time, the board recommended the work be done in the spring until Memorial Day weekend and then resume after Labor Day, and it requested two crews to work on the project to “reduce the hardship on the Village District businesses.”

More recently, that section of road received a new coat of pavement to extend its life until the project could be done.

The town has committed itself to spending $45,000 to widen the road in places to create legal parking and $10,200 for new sidewalks between St. Helena Catholic Church and the Union Church in conjunction with the state work. The state also is working with a town committee on streetlights.

Ernie Martin, project manager with the state Department of Transportation, said Friday the previous meeting was part of a planning process that allowed the state to work with the community to develop a concept for the project. Now it’s moved forward.

“We’ve put alignment on the road and a proposed sidewalk,” Martin said. “It’s preliminary engineering only. The intent is to get it to a preliminary design report.”

That would carry a cost estimate for the work. So far, none is available.

“Once we get the details, we’ll formulate a whole cost,” he said.

The project also would require a final public meeting.

Martin said the hope is to include the road reconstruction in the 2016-2017 budget.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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