Bath to discuss next phase of North Street reconstruction

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BATH — The city on Tuesday, Aug. 29, will hold a public presentation about the second and final phase of its North Street reconstruction project.

The meeting will be held in the City Hall auditorium, 55 Front St., at 5:30 p.m. It will offer preliminary plans, expected construction impacts, and the timeline of construction.

The first phase, completed in 2015, rebuilt North Street from the “Five Corners” intersection of Lincoln Street and Oak Grove and Congress avenues to High Street. The roughly $1 million project added landscaping, narrowed the street and enhanced lighting, while a continuous sidewalk was built to stretch the length of the reconstructed area.

Next year’s second phase will run from High Street to Washington Street, but has a smaller scope, with a focus on rebuilding the roadway surface and sidewalk. The approximately $600,000 cost is being split between a Maine Department of Transportation municipal partnership initiative grant and city street bonds, similar to the first phase.

“We split those costs on state roads right down the middle with DOT, because this is helping to improve their road network and improve their local streets,” Planning Director Andrew Deci said in an interview Tuesday. “… We submit our costs to them, and we get reimbursed 50 percent.”

“The corridor project goals are to improve the roadway surface, provide safe and continuous pedestrian areas, and improve the appearance and quality of life along the corridor,” a notice at cityofbath.com states. “Providing safe spaces for all modes of travel is an important part of this project.”

North Street “is a central road into our community,” Deci said. “And it has relatively high volumes of cars compared to other local streets. In addition, the road is in really bad condition.”

Water runs beneath the road, and a railroad crossing could be functioning better, he said.

Construction could begin in May or June 2018.

“We’ll bid this project in early 2018, and as a part of that we’ll identify with the selected contractor what the schedule is for construction,” Deci noted.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

The section of North Street in Bath that will undergo reconstruction next year, from High Street to Washington Street.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.