GARDINER — Mayor Pat Hart said this year’s roadwork has prompted residents to give her hugs, but a resident said at Wednesday’s City Council meeting that paving has made drivers go faster on one city street.

City Public Works Director Tony LaPlante delivered an update to the City Council Wednesday about this year’s roadwork. Prior to his update, resident Shay Flanagan alerted city officials to a speeding problem on Central Street.

LaPlante highlighted infrastructural work on Booker and Marston roads. He said a number of streets have been paved, including Washington Avenue, Central, Spring and Adams streets.

An unintended consequence to a smoother ride on some roads is cars may travel faster on it. Flanagan expressed concern with speeding vehicles on Central Street. Flanagan said his children were almost hit by a car while waiting for the school bus, prompting him to address the council.

“I really do believe something will happen,” he said. “It’s getting worse.”

Police Chief Jim Toman said those with complaints about speeding vehicles should alert police so patrolling can be increased around Central Street. He said the complaints would be logged and the department could use those complaints to assess if there is a problem with speeding there.

Toman said 40 minutes after Flanagan’s comment that a traffic stop was conducted on Central Street. He did not know if it was for speeding.

“We just try to be responsive,” he said, adding that he sent a text to his officers during the meeting just after hearing Flanagan’s concern.

LaPlante said curbing work on the Church Street sidewalk would happen Thursday or Friday. He said the city will put a thin surface layer of pavement down after that project and future improvements will be made by the Department of Transportation, which is responsible for the road.

Hart said residents have lauded this city’s paving work this year, including a resident that hugged her after West Hill Street, the street LaPlante said was formerly the worst street in town, was paved.

I’ve had a lot of positive feedback about paving this year. People are thrilled with the new safe sidewalk on Washington.”

When asked by Hart how much would be left in the city’s sidewalk budget after the Church Street project and a sidewalk on Brunswick Avenue, LaPlante said the fund would likely be entirely expended.

LaPlante said paving prices, despite creeping up slightly this year, are lower now than when the city applied for a $1.2 million bond four years ago. He said the lower prices allowed his department to do more work than originally planned.

He said he doesn’t know how much money is left on the bond, but he is entering the last year of his five-year plan for the bond.

At the end of his comments, LaPlante said he is working on a roadwork plan for next year.


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