HALLOWELL — After about six months of snared traffic and one-way streets downtown, drivers can expect an easier commute through downtown starting Friday afternoon.

At the end of the construction day, about 3 p.m., two-way traffic will resume along Water Street and the one-way detour involving Second Street will be removed, according to Maine Department of Transportation officials.

The street reopening will be the first time the whole of Water Street will be two-way since the project started on April 2. Reconstruction of the street rendered it a northbound one-way, while Second Street was converted to a southbound one-way.

Crews will remove all barriers and fences from the street and cover detour signs. Signs that were previously taken down or covered on side streets will be displayed again.

MDOT Project Resident Karen Libby said flaggers will be used to help drivers relearn the old traffic flow in Hallowell.

“There’s always been a few people who will still come down Winthrop Street,” Libby said. “The flaggers have been good; we’ve had zero accidents.”

A temporary double yellow line will be placed along the center of Water Street. Additionally, a single white line will be used to mark on-street parking areas and two white lines six-feet apart will label crosswalks. More detailed lines will be painted when surface work is done in June 2019.

Libby said Tuesday that crews will still be in Hallowell after two-way traffic resumes, undertaking drainage work, and building sidewalks and retaining walls downtown. All construction is expected to be wrapped up by November 16, except for surface pavement, which will be complete June 6, 2019.

The Down with the Crown Committee will host a ribbon cutting at 8:30 a.m. Friday to commemorate two-way traffic resuming on Water Street. The ceremony will take place at the corner of Winthrop Street and Water Street, and will feature comments from Mayor Mark Walker and members of the committee.

Traffic is expected to be stopped in both directions for about five minutes in both directions for the event, according to committee member Nancy Bischoff.

Sam Shepherd — 621-5666

[email protected]

Twitter: @SamShepME

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