WATERVILLE — The Maine Department of Transportation will host a public meeting Wednesday on a proposed Interstate 95 traffic interchange on Trafton Road near the Sidney line.

The meeting to gather feedback, comments and concerns from the public will be from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Spann Commons Summit Room at Thomas College on West River Road. The forum will give space to local property owners to express concerns they may have and ask questions about the project.

Some property owners remain staunchly opposed to the interchange.

“It’s coming down right in front of our house,” said Sandy Cormier, who has lived on Trafton Road with her husband, Greg, for 35 years. “I’m hoping that they will change their plans.”

The $4.8 million interchange is a joint project between the state Department of Transportation and Trafton Road Properties Inc., a Rhode Island-based company that owns more than 900 acres in Waterville and Sidney and an industrial building at the intersection with West River Road that houses light manufacturing and warehouse space.

Department project manager Ernie Martin said Monday the project has been through extensive state and federal assessments, including a federal environmental review that resulted in a finding of no significant impact.

“It’s been through an elaborate planning process” that cleared up many of the big concerns that were raised over the project, Martin said.

The department wants to present the newest project design and get feedback from individuals, according to department spokesman Ted Talbot.

“Will public feedback stop the project? No, but maybe there is something we haven’t thought about,” Talbot said.

“We just want to make sure everyone knows what we are doing and how we are doing it and allay any concerns they might have,” he said. “We are always ready to listen during every step of the process.”

The interchange is part of a state program that gives road projects higher priority if they have private funding. Trafton Road Inc. and the department are both contributing $2 million with the remainder coming from federal grants.

The city of Waterville intends to use tax increment financing money to maintain the road.

Advocates of the project believe a new half-clover interchange about halfway between the Lyons Road exit 120 in Sidney and Kennedy Memorial Drive exit 127 in Waterville will reduce heavy truck traffic on Kennedy Memorial Drive and help open the area to industrial development.

The U.S. Economic Development Administration in May awarded approximately $1 million to help build the interchange. In its award notice, the administration said the project was expected to leverage $34 million in private capital.

The project has been championed by city officials and the Central Maine Growth Council as a way to bring economic development to the area.

But some residents of Trafton Road have deep reservations about the new interchange and worry it will ruin wildlife habitat and make the road more dangerous. A public hearing hosted by the Department of Transportation in May 2014 attracted more than 60 people who voiced concern about the proposal.

Cormier said she is not convinced a highway interchange will limit traffic on Kennedy Memorial Drive, and adding heavy trucks will make Trafton Road dangerous unless improvements are made.

She is afraid that the interchange will ruin the quiet, peaceful area with lots of wildlife she and her husband enjoy, Cormier said.

“We really don’t want to move,” she said. “We love the country.”

Cormier intends to go to the meeting Thursday to hear an update on the project, but isn’t convinced her concerns will matter in the long run.

“We’ve written a letter before and it’s never done any good,” she said.

Peter McGuire — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @PeteL_McGuire

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