BELGRADE — Road work on Main Street in Belgrade Village has resumed — and it should be completed before town sees its highest concentration of visitors.

“We fully expect them to be done by the end of June,” said Dennis Lovely, DOT Senior Project Manager for Construction Support.

And if it’s not, completion will be postponed until after Labor Day.

The reconstruction project brought concern in 2016 when residents and local business owners worried about what the effect construction would have during the tourist-critical summer. In response to that concern, the state opted to stop the project’s roadwork in the village for the months of July and August. Work also will stop for Memorial Day weekend.

Diane Oliver speaks with a customer Wednesday at the counter of Day’s Store in Belgrade. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

The Maine Department of Transportation contracted Pratt & Sons Inc., of Mechanic Falls, to complete the work on the half-mile section of Route 27. Work will be done from the intersection with West Road to the Mill Stream bridge at the north end of the village.

“We’re excited that they’re here now and trying to get as much work done,” said Diane Oliver, who with her family owns Day’s Store, a general store that has been in the town since 1958. “We’ll have a lovely, very walkable, pleasant, friendly village.”

The work started nearly a year ago with trees being cut to make room for new sidewalks and utility poles, Lovely said, along with drainage and excavation of the northern end.

Residents can expect to see a construction crew working on drainage for the next several weeks, Lovely said. Curbs and and sidewalks will be built later, and excavation will follow with a new gravel base and paving.

Lovely said the contractor stopped work ahead of schedule last season — before the expected seasonal suspension — when winter arrived early, but he doesn’t think that will affect the construction timeline.

“The contractor submitted work plans a week ago” he said, “and he plans on being done by mid-June.”

The town of Belgrade contributed about $550,000 to the $3.7 million project, Lovely said. Per voter approval, the nonprofit group Friends of Belgrade Lakes Village contributed $441,820 to the Belgrade contribution for brick sidewalks and pedestrian lighting fixtures.

“The sidewalks were atrocious,” said Oliver, who is a member of the Friends. “They had huge potholes. It wasn’t a pedestrian walkway.”

She said some residents oppose the reconstruction because “it’ll give the vision that it’s wider and bigger and that people will travel faster.”

The road is a major travel route between Augusta and Farmington. Travel will be limited to one lane, and flaggers will control traffic.

Eighty percent of the project costs were funded federally, and the remainder came from state and local funds. Of the project costs, $3.1 million will pay for the construction.

 

Abigail Austin — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @AbigailAustinKJ

 


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