A Maine Department of Transportation crew will begin installing catch basins and outlet pipes Monday in anticipation of the Water Street reconstruction project set to start in the spring.

The work is being completed now to comply with the sturgeon habitat work permit window. The project will include installing one outlet pipe flowing into the Kennebec River on Wharf Street and one at the Hallowell boat launch, according to transportation spokesman Ted Talbot.

Starting Nov. 27, Wharf Street will be fully closed to all motor vehicle traffic. Pedestrians will continue to have access to the road, but there will be occasional closings of sidewalks and crosswalks, and signage will direct pedestrians to alternate routes. Talbot said the work is expected to be completed by Dec. 18.

The state plans to begin rebuilding an approximately 2,000-square-foot stretch of the busy corridor — part of U.S. Route 201 — in April. Project Manager Ernie Martin has said at several public meetings that the DOT hopes the work will be completed at the end of October 2018. Surface paving will be completed over four days in spring of 2019, and the entire project will be finished in June 2019.

The Water Street project is estimated to cost nearly $5 million and will reduce the crown in the road, something the city had been hoping would happen for decades. In April, Hallowell voters approved a $2.36 million bond package that included $600,000 toward the Water Street reconstruction.

In late September, Martin confirmed that the plan calls for work on the east side of Water Street to start April 9 and last about 12 weeks; work on the west side of the street is scheduled for July 16 to Sept. 14. He said contractors will work on side streets in between working on Water Street, and there will be no work or detour during Old Hallowell Day, on July 21.

Contractors will work Monday through Thursday from sunrise to sunset and from sunrise to 3 p.m. Friday. Martin said there may be five 24-hour work periods at the intersections of Temple and Water streets and Winthrop and Water streets, but that won’t be determined until the project is underway.

The detour during the reconstruction will re-route drivers past Hallowell’s current fire station on Second Street.

When the sidewalks on each side of Water Street are torn up and temporarily paved, there will also be an 8-foot-tall chain-link fence with green mesh to protect people from the construction. Martin said there may be LED rope lights atop the fence to illuminate the sidewalk, and he said artwork can be hung from the fence.

Communication is always the key with these types of projects, Martin said. He will act as a liaison, along with City Manager Nate Rudy, and will facilitate conversations among residents, business owners and contractors.

There will be information posted on the department’s website and Facebook page, there will be email alerts, newspaper ads and weekly contractor updates. The department also will use the Hallowell Board of Trade’s communication network.

Talbot said Martin is planning to hold another meeting in Hallowell in December to go over the final plans for the project before the work is put out to bid in late January. The date for next month’s meeting has not been scheduled.

Jason Pafundi — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @jasonpafundiKJ

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