BELGRADE — Traffic crept through Belgrade Lakes village late last week along a road that was a mix of dirt and gravel made muddy by rain.

Pratt & Sons, of Mechanic Falls, is undertaking a full reconstruction of a section of Route 27 — also known as Main Street — between the West Road intersection and the bridge over Mill Stream. The section spans a distance of a little less than half a mile, right through the center of the village. Main Street runs along a narrow isthmus between Great Pond and Long Pond, and there are no detours.

The $3.1 million project is largely state funded.

Workers used heavy machinery in one lane as flaggers signaled drivers to stop or proceed slowly through the area. Some of the road work was underway outside Hello, Good Pie Bakery & Gourmet Kitchen at 39 Main St.

“It’s been daunting up to this week, but they’re going to pave and move on,” said Shari Hamilton, who owns the business.

“The guys are great,” she said, adding that the road workers have been coming into the shop in the morning to say what the plans are for the day.

Hamilton said she is looking forward to the completion of the job.

“It’s going to be a great addition,” she said. “We can’t wait for the road and the sidewalks to be done.”

“Business definitely was affected a lot, but it would have been a tragic story if they continued working in July and August,” Hamilton added. “We’ll take the good with the bad.”

“We had hoped they would be much further along,” said Diane Oliver, of Day’s Store Inc., a family-owned general store near the northern terminus of the project. “For me the fall business has been good — good weather, good customers.”

She said that because much of the construction was at the southern end, the store saw little effect.

“Now they’re moving to my end of town,” Oliver said. “We haven’t quite experienced how that is going to be yet. We’re just hoping it will be wonderful when it gets done and we’re excited for it to get done.”

Fine grading of gravel is scheduled to take place this week, with paving to follow. Also, drainage is to be installed at the north end of Main Street near the dam, according to a recent progress report by Anna Lowe, project resident for the state transportation department.

Weekly progress reports and other information about the project are posted on the town’s website at www.townofbelgrade.com/rte-27-weekly-updates.html.

According to the Maine Department of Transportation, the contractor will complete drainage from West Road and continue road excavation from Hulin Street to the south end of the project, and underground conduit will be installed near Union Church by the electrical subcontractor.

The much-anticipated project was compressed into a short timeline, with tree-cutting done in the early spring and the road work beginning after Labor Day.

A number of other infrastructure improvements were scheduled at the same time. 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 for keeping new, replaced or rehabilitated pedestrian facilities in usable condition, including snow and ice control, and replacing or repairing the filters in seven permanent stormwater treatment structures. The state is to be responsible for removing sediment from the structures, known as SiltPrisons.

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.