BELGRADE — The state plan to reconstruct 0.46 miles of road through the heart of Belgrade Lakes village drew about three dozen people to an informal meeting Tuesday at the Belgrade Town Office.

The reconstruction of Main Street, also known as Route 27, is scheduled to take place in 2018 and produce a sidewalk all along the west side of the street, 55 defined parking spaces and improvements for crosswalks and sight distances.

The state Department of Transportation’s project manager, Ernest Martin, fielded a number of questions Tuesday, including four raised by Sen. Thomas Saviello, R-Wilton, whose district includes Belgrade.

Saviello asked about curbing, an island proposed in front of the post office, parking spaces and filtration efforts,

Martin said the funding is in place to have granite curbing run the length of the project.

The northbound and southbound travel lanes are each 11 feet wide. Gravel shoulders are 4 feet wide and the sidewalk is 5 feet wide in most places. While the project calls for the sidewalks to have a bituminous or asphalt surface, the nonprofit Friends of Belgrade Lakes Village group is raising money to provide almost $500,000 in enhancements for the project, including upgrading sidewalk materials to concrete or brick and installing sidewalk lighting.


Selectman Ernie Rice said Tuesday that voters would be asked to accept the money raised for the project, probably at the next Town Meeting. “The board will not put an article before the voters if the dollars aren’t there,” Rice said.

Martin said the island is essentially a raised area in front of the post office that is the terminus of a crosswalk and has ramps on either side.

He also said that an island at the other end of the village at the intersection of West Road was being removed and that the intersection would be reconfigured to a form a T rather than the current Y intersection.

The installation of 55 parking spaces has proved to be a touchy subject. People now park anywhere along the roadway, narrowing the travel lanes and creating congestion.

Charles Baeder, executive director of the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance, which has offices at 137 Main St., said that just last week he picked up another side mirror that had been knocked off a parked car by a passing vehicle.

With regard to filtration, Steve Smith, of Denver, Colorado, a seasonal resident for more than 50 years and a member of the Belgrade Lakes Association‘s board of directors, told Martin, “Our primary concern is to preserve and protect the water quality of Great Pond and Long Pond.” Smith asked what the state would do if private septic systems are encountered during construction and how the state planned to prevent sediment from running into the lakes during construction.


Martin said the department is coordinating with the state Department of Environmental Protection and is going to install a series of catch basins to filter the runoff prior to water reaching either of the lakes. The basins require some maintenance, as the sediment that collects in them has to be removed.

The reconstruction project encompasses a narrow isthmus that separates the two Great Ponds. Martin also said those basins themselves could have additional filters to prevent materials from getting into the water, but that would carry additional cost.

Martin said the project will not add phosphorous to the lake.

Smith said afterward that the association is considering doing work to lower the phosphorous levels in Great Pond.

“We want to make sure that this project doesn’t make anything worse, and hopefully makes it better,” he said.

Federal dollars are paying for the bulk of the road reconstruction project, with Belgrade kicking in about $55,000 for the local share.


Martin estimated costs at $2 million for construction with an additional $1 million for engineering, design, right of way, and other costs. He said he would like it to begin as soon as possible in the spring of 2018, stop about the time school ends and then restart after Labor Day. He said he anticipates the work will be done in one construction season.

Those at the meeting were told that if the town rejects the reconstruction project at this point, it would cost the town the $300,000 or so in engineering costs already spent by the state.

Martin said he anticipated a final public hearing would be scheduled in the next two or three months so the project could move forward to the right-of-way phase.

By the end of the meeting, Martin received a round of applause, and Saviello said afterward, “People really got their questions answered.”

Several people remained to check some of the project details as they were illustrated in a long drawing taped to the meeting room wall. It showed everything from trees to be removed to the names of the landowners whose property abuts the project.

Martin said the project is being designed with a multitude of users in mind: bicyclists, pedestrians, commuters, residents, businesses and trucks.


Martin and selectmen said others with questions about the project should send them to Town Manager Carrie Castonguay.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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