HALLOWELL — Final paving on Water Street should be finished by the end of next week, according to Maine Department of Transportation officials.

The work is scheduled to begin on Monday, according to a news release from the department, and will be done in two segments. Crews will spend two days paving from the granite crosswalk at the intersection of Water and Winthrop streets south to “just beyond” Temple Street. The second segment will go north from the granite crosswalk to the railroad trestle, and that will be paved Thursday and Friday.

The transportation department is requesting that no cars be parked on either side of the road being paved next week. Work will begin “at daybreak” and wrap up around 3 p.m., weather permitting.

Paving initially was scheduled to begin June 3, but project resident Karen Libby said in March it could start earlier, because all work must be done by June 6.

The project started in April 2018, and businesses struggled with a lack of on-street parking and foot traffic through downtown Hallowell. Back in October 2018, two-way traffic was restored downtown after a small ceremony with local government officials.

Meanwhile, work on a controversial portion of sidewalk running from the Lucky Garden Chinese restaurant to the state boat landing was underway Tuesday. The plan, which involved moving boulders that acted as a barrier between the restaurant’s parking lot and Water Street, is to build a 4-foot-wide sidewalk.

Councilors approved $35,500 in unused bond funds to build the sidewalk in April, seemingly ending a yearlong saga stemming from the restaurant’s owners objecting to the boulders being moved and confusion over which party made the ultimate decision to abandon the sidewalk as part of the initial project in 2018.

Transportation department spokesman Paul Merrill said the boulders were moved behind the restaurant. He said ongoing talks between department officials and the owners of the Lucky Garden could result in the boulders being placed elsewhere on the property.

Hallowell paving

This photo, taken May 23, 2018, shows construction on Water Street in downtown Hallowell. Kennebec Journal photo by Joe Phelan

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