WATERVILLE — Work is continuing where Colby and Front streets meet College Avenue to prepare for the change from one-way to two-way traffic as part of the $11.92 million downtown revitalization project.

The redesign of the roads is to allow traffic coming from the north to bypass College Avenue and Main Street and travel down Front Street to get to the south side of the city or cross the bridge into Winslow, according to City Engineer Andy McPherson.

In a large area that has been excavated near College Avenue and Colby and Front streets, near the police station, drainage and piping work is being done and signs will be installed, McPherson said Thursday.

Motorists navigate narrow lanes Tuesday while driving through a road project underway on Main Street in downtown Waterville. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

The downtown project is on schedule and the change to two-way traffic on Front and Main streets is expected to happen later this year, probably in October, he said.

Meanwhile, workers on Main Street, near Post Office Square, are taking the road down and building it back up with new gravel and installing underdrainage, according to McPherson.

“Once that comes back up, they’ll pave the base course of the road,” he said, adding that granite curbing will then be set to build sidewalks.

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AD Electric Inc. of Sabattus is installing mast arm and pedestrian signals near the fire station at 7 College Ave. and new lighting near the police station at 10 Colby St.

Beginning next week, the pavement on Front Street is to be ground in a process called “milling,” and cleared down to grade so it can be shimmed and paved to the new grade, McPherson said.

“They’ll be doing one lane at a time, with flaggers, so Front Street will remain open,” he said.

The downtown construction project, launched by the city, Colby College and the Maine Department of Transportation, includes changing Front and Main streets downtown to two-way travel and improving intersections, sidewalks, lighting and landscaping.

“We’re all excited about the pace of work and the early start this season,” City Manager Steve Daly said Thursday. “Yes, traffic flow in and around downtown will be slower than normal and a bit confusing as construction progresses, but it will be worth every minute of the inconveniences when it is completed this fall.”

The project includes a $7.3 million BUILD grant the city has received from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Crooker Construction Inc. of Topsham in the contractor for the project, and subcontractors also are doing work downtown.

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