AUGUSTA — Improvement of the roadway on Mount Vernon Avenue and Civic Center Drive will begin Monday at the project area’s northern end, near the intersection with Townsend Road.

Ernie Martin, project manager for the Maine Department of Transportation, said the prime contractor, Pratt & Sons, of Minot, opted to begin construction where the roadway has three lanes.

“They’ll try to keep two-way traffic going,” Martin said.

About a month from now, around mid-August, a section of Mount Vernon Avenue will be restricted to northbound traffic. That section runs between the intersection with Bond and Boothby streets to a site near Augusta Florist.

“That’s their plan right now,” Martin said, adding that the contractor must complete that work within 90 calendar days, according to the agreement with the state.

Even as the work takes place, all businesses along that section of Mount Vernon Avenue are to remain open and accessible. Business owners have aired their concerns about the effect the project will have on their businesses.

Signs have been posted to alert motorists about the road work and about when traffic will be limited to northbound only. A detour route will involve Northern Avenue and Townsend Road. Also during the 90-day period, traffic will be permitted to turn left as it uses the Townsend Road exit from the Marketplace at Augusta.

Martin noted that a number of people have requested that the left-turn option there remain, and that the department will be monitoring traffic flows there.

He noted that the construction of a full intersection at exit 113 on Interstate 95 apparently has decreased traffic at exit 112 and along Civic Center Drive. That was one of the goals of expanding the interchange.

Although the contract period for the $4.3 million Mount Vernon Avenue/Civic Center Drive project runs through June 2016, the bulk of the work is expected to be completed this construction season, with the finishing touches on the pavement, the loam and seeding to be done next spring.

The work on the northern section that is to start Monday involves drainage and curb work and milling and refilling the pavement, according to Martin. A full road reconstruction is scheduled for the southern section of the road.

“We have a good plan on this one,” Martin said. There’s been a lot of dialogue with the city.”

Along with performing the road reconstruction, Pratt is also under contract with the Greater Augusta Utility District to do work on its utility lines along the route.

Martin said the department will issue another public announcement before the start of one-way northbound traffic on Mount Vernon Avenue.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams


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