Brunswick official: Traffic woes almost over along Bath Road
BRUNSWICK — The traffic snarls, washouts and bumpy rides that have marked travel along a busy stretch of Bath Road should be just about over, according to the town's public works director.
Crews have been working on the $2.15 Bath Road improvement project since April. The project has generated its share of angst for business owners and motorists, who have complained about backups and poor road conditions, especially during heavy rain.
The half-mile stretch of road is perhaps the town's busiest. Walmart and Lowe's are within the construction area, which is adjacent to the Cook's Corner intersection. It feeds several retail developments and serves as a pass-through for Harpswell residents and commuters to Mid Coast Hospital and Bath Iron Works.
However, when it's completed – perhaps by mid-August – the result will be long-awaited improvements to the water lines and storm drainage, as well as a wider road.
According to Public Works Director John Foster, crews will be working for at least another four to six weeks. However, he said major traffic issues should be just about over as crews switch to night paving.
Foster said there will still be lane closures while workers install sidewalks and granite curbing. But, now that the road has been widened, road crews will have an extra lane available to keep traffic flowing.
Although few would argue the project wasn't necessary, town officials anticipated fallout from the traffic snarls and road conditions – which were worsened, Foster said, because no storm drainage previously existed.
Foster has been sending e-mail updates to abutters explaining the progress, and posting updates on the the Brunswick Public Works Facebook page. Other project updates, like Mere Point Road and River Road, are posted there as well.
The project is being paid for through a $1.2 million bond authorized by the Town Council last fall. The bond will be repaid by proceeds from the Tax Increment Financing District and about $900,000 in impact fees collected from various developments in the Cook's Corner area.
The bond authorization adds another $500,000 to a previous estimate to account for increased project costs. Last October, Finance Director John Eldridge told the council he hoped the project would come in well short of the $2.15 million budget, but recommended the higher authorization just in case.
Steve Mistler can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 123 or firstname.lastname@example.org