For the start of next week, Route 41 in Readfield will be closed to traffic.

Starting Monday morning and lasting until Tuesday evening, drivers will be detoured while Maine Department of Transportation workers replace a culvert just north of the Beans Mills Road intersection. 

Traffic will be diverted onto the North Road, which travels roughly parallel to Route 41, intersecting in both downtown areas of Readfield and Mount Vernon. 

“(The culvert replacement) is pretty straightforward,” said Rob Betz, MDOT Midcoast Region engineer. “This is more complicated because of the terrain and the inability to maintain traffic while doing the work.”

The closure will be from 6 a.m. Monday to 6 p.m. Tuesday, according to a press release issued by MDOT.

Road work will continue up to a week after the closure, said Betz. One-way, alternating traffic can be expected. 

Readfield Fire Chief Lee Mank said the 36-hour detour will not cause concern.

“Mount Vernon Fire is right on the other side (of the closure),” said Mank, though he noted the closure could increase travel and response time. 

Readfield and Mount Vernon fire departments are members of the Lakes Region Mutual Aid Group, which also includes Fayette, Manchester, Vienna and Wayne.

Betz said that the culvert is being replaced because it is at the end of its useful life.

“Materials degrade over time,” he said, “and there is a risk factor that increases as that material degrades.”

The cost of the project is $85,000, Betz said, and will be state funded; there will not be a local share of the project cost for Readfield. Lee’s General Trucking of Millinocket has been contracted to do the work. 

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