WATERVILLE — Traffic is expected to run smoothly in the city during Memorial Day weekend despite the planned closure, for the first time, of Mayflower Hill Drive through Colby College Sunday during the college’s commencement activities; and of other streets during Monday’s downtown parade.

“We’ll help with traffic and it’s a Sunday. I really don’t anticipate there being any issues with traffic for us,” police Chief Joseph Massey said Wednesday of the Colby street closing.

Meanwhile, on Memorial Day, Monday, Front and Main streets downtown will be closed about 15 minutes before the parade starts at 10 a.m., according to Massey.

Mayflower Hill will be closed from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday from Mount Merici Avenue to North Street for commencement and related events, and campus security officials will be stationed at strategic points to help direct drivers to parking areas and alternate routes. The commencement ceremony starts at 10 a.m. in front of Miller Library on campus.

Colby spokesman Steve Collins said the college is ready to accommodate special situations, including those involving emergency vehicles, which will be allowed to get through campus at all times.

The decision to close part of Mayflower Hill through campus — which also is used by area drivers traveling from north and west of the city into town — was made for a combination of reasons, including that the east side of Mayflower Hill Drive has been developed with new buildings during the last decade and there is more traffic in that area, according to Collins.

Thousands of pedestrians are expected to cross the road Sunday in front of Miller Library and the academic quadrangle on campus, and closing the road will make it safer for pedestrians and drivers alike, he said.

Colby’s 194th commencement speaker is Robert Redford, and a lot of people asked to attend the event to hear him speak, so more visitors than usual are expected to be on campus.

“I think all of that added up, and with events such as they are this year, we made the call to close that for the duration of the commencement ceremony,” Collins said.

Also, from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, security officials will be on site to manage traffic on Mayflower Hill Drive, and drivers might be asked to wait for up to 15 minutes to let pedestrians cross the road, according to Collins.

At 9 p.m. Saturday, Campus Drive near Johnson Pond will be closed for about 15 minutes for a fireworks display.

Meanwhile, Colby security officials suggest people attending commencement Sunday arrive on campus at 9 a.m. to have enough time to park and walk to the ceremony. Anyone with questions can contact the security department at 859-4000. Colby’s website, www.colby.edu, also has answers to frequently asked questions, according to Collins.

The Memorial Day parade, organized by the Forest J. Pare Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1285, will start at Head of Falls off Front Street, turn south onto Front and march to the former Levine’s clothing store, turn right onto Main Street and continue north through downtown, turning left onto Appleton, according to Tyler Levesque, the local VFW’s adjutant and judge advocate.

Levesque, who has helped organize the parade for several years, said the procession then will march past the Waterville Public Library and stop at Memorial Park at the corner of Park and Elm streets.

Mayor Nick Isgro and Rep. Thomas R.W. Longstaff, D-Waterville, are among those scheduled to speak at the park ceremony, he said.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17