Crews began working on the intersections of Main, Front, Spring and Water streets in downtown Waterville in late March as part of an $11.27 million project to change the flow of traffic on Main and Front streets from one way to two way. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel file Buy this Photo

WATERVILLE — Work is continuing on the intersection just south of Main Street as part of an $11.3 million downtown Waterville revitalization project to improve intersections and sidewalks and change one-way traffic to two way on Main and Front streets.

City Manager Steve Daly told the City Council on Tuesday the intersection at Main, Spring, Water and Front streets is in a state of flux right now.

“The electrical contractor was out on Main Street today and yesterday, having blocked off the parking on the west side of the street,” Daly said. “They are removing the trees that are going to be replaced as part of this project. They’re also removing the lighting that will also be replaced, and there will be temporary lighting put in place.”

Daly said he and city staff members took a walking tour of downtown Waterville and inventoried sidewalks they are going to propose to the council be replaced with concrete sidewalks and granite curb. Those sidewalks are now bituminous berm curb and bituminous paving, according to Daly.

“They’re in pretty bad shape, especially the curbs,” he said. “But the most important thing, in my mind, is that we want to create an environment where the downtown is one entity and one aesthetic, rather than just Main Street being concrete sidewalks, and when you step off of Main Street you’re in a different environment.”

Plans would also call for continuing the concrete sidewalk from Main Street to Temple Street and Head of Falls, to tie those two projects together, Daly said.

“That way, we can bring Main Street and Head of Falls together,” he said. “Head of Falls can be an extension of Main Street, and parking at Head of Falls can supplement The Concourse parking for Main Street visitors.”

Daly noted that as part of a separate project, work has started on removing The Center at 93 Main St. to make way for the $18 million Paul J. Schupf Art Center. Until recently, work at the site had been only inside the building on asbestos abatement.

In other matters Tuesday, councilors voted 4-3 to encourage the U.S. Congress to initiate a revenue-neutral fee on carbon fuels. Councilors Mike Morris, D-Ward 1, Rick Foss, R-Ward 5, and Chairman Erik Thomas, D-Ward 7, voted against the proposal.

The council also voted to reject a resolution to support statehood for Washington, D.C., with Morris, Foss, Thomas and Councilor Thomas Klepach, D-Ward 3, voting against the resolution. Councilors Flavia Oliveira, D-Ward 2, Rebecca Green, D-Ward 4, and Claude Francke, D-Ward 6, voted in favor.

Francke was the lone dissenter in a 6-1 vote to refer to the Planning Board for public hearing and recommendation a request by Jennifer Bergeron to rezone 72 Pleasant St. from Residential-D and Residential-B to Contract Zoned District/Commercial-A to allow the former Sacred Heart Church to be transformed into an events center.

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