The long-anticipated reconstruction of Main Street through Belgrade Lakes Village begins in earnest this week.

While trees were cut and utility poles replaced in early spring, all other construction had to wait until after Labor Day, the unofficial end of the busy summer tourist season. Work is scheduled to begin Tuesday.

The project timing had been worked out in negotiations with state and town officials, residents and business owners, many of whom were concerned about the effect of construction on the seasonal businesses in particular.

The work involves a full reconstruction of the section of the road between the West Road intersection and the bridge over Mill Stream, a distance of a little less than half a mile, right through the center of the village.

The state awarded the $3.1 million contract to Pratt & Sons of Mechanic Falls, and representatives from that firm — as well as state Department of Transportation Senior Project Manager Ernie Martin — will be on hand at a public information session 5-6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Belgrade Center For all Seasons.

On Friday, project manager Denis Lovely said the work initially will involve saw-cutting pavement to install drainage down by the ponds.

Main Street, also known as Route 27, runs along a narrow isthmus between Great Pond and Long Pond, and the plans do not call for any detour routes.

“They’ll be doing alternating one-way traffic with flaggers,” said Lovely.

A press release sent Friday by Ted Talbot, spokesman for the state Transportation Department, said “The first two weeks of work will focus on drainage, beginning on the Great Pond side of the road. When completed on that side, crews will begin at the same location on the Long Pond side and move southerly until the drainage work is completed; likely in the second week of October.”

Lovely said that once the pipes are in, repaving work will begin.

“We hope to have it all paved by the end of year,” he said.

According to the release, by Oct. 29, “… the entire road will be paved with a base coat for winter traffic. Once completed, work will continue as long as weather permits and may include curb installation at the catch basins, electrical work, stump chipping and sidewalk construction.”

Talbot said Friday that motorists should expect delays. The road is a main travel route between Farmington and Augusta.

“This is a tight window,” he said. “It’s all hands on for as much as we can do and as much as the weather will allow.”

Once the project is finished, Talbot added, there will be improvements in safety, mobility and aesthetics.

While the work progress will be weather-dependent, the construction is expected to take place between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., with some later hours and Saturday work if necessary. The work is expected to pick up again next spring.

Along with the rebuilding of the road, the state will be putting in upgraded brick sidewalks and ornamental sidewalk lights, paid for — with town voter approval — by a $500,000 donation from the Friends of Belgrade Lakes Village.

And under an agreement with the state, the town “will be responsible to keep new or replaced/rehabilitated pedestrian facilities in usable condition including snow and ice control,” and replace or repair the filters in seven permanent stormwater treatment structures. The state is to be responsible for removing sediment from the structures, known as SiltPrisons.

Along with an improved roadway surface and designated crosswalks, the town also will be getting 31 designated parking spaces on the east side of the road and 28 on the west.

Currently few parking spots are clearly delineated along the narrow roadway.

While the road is being reconstructed in the village, another major road improvement project remains in progress along a 3-mile stretch of Routes 8 and 11 about a half mile north of Route 27.

The project calls for 4-foot paved shoulders on each side of the 11-foot travel ways, and some work on dips and crests of hills to improve sight distance.

The total cost of the work, which includes the pre-engineering and other items, is about $5.4 million.

Work there is a little behind schedule, and paving will continue next week.

“It will still get done on time,” Lovely said. “Is it going as fast as we would like? No.”

The contract completion date is June 3, 2019.

Lovely asked patience from motorists.

“It will be a nice ride when we’re done,” he said. “You can see some of the pieces that are done now.”

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

filed under:

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.