FALMOUTH — Reconstruction of Route 100 should be “substantially” complete almost a year earlier than originally planned, Public Works Director Jay Reynolds said, after the town awarded the project to contractor Shaw Brothers of Gorham.
Voters approved the $10.5 million project in June 2016. It will rebuild Route 100 from Leighton Road to Libby Bridge, including adding sidewalks, bicycle lanes, street lighting and dedicated turning lanes at several intersections.
In late November Reynolds announced that the two construction bids received by the town had come in over budget. But the hope was that with a more thorough review Falmouth’s portion of the cost would not exceed what the town had already set aside.
That’s because both the Maine Department of Transportation and the Portland Water District are both contributing funds toward certain portions of the project.
In a Dec. 18 memo to Town Manager Nathan Poore, Reynolds said, “although the construction bids exceeded initial estimates, the project was able to recognize cost- savings with regards to the right-of-way acquisition process as well as the inspection services costs.”
Coupled with the savings, he said, “MDOT and PWD’s continued financial commitment to the project have contributed to the project (now) being within budget parameters.”
Shaw Brothers had the lowest bid of nearly $10.3 million, Reynolds said previously.
In addition, Sebago Technics has been hired to provide quality control and inspections “to ensure that construction activities adhere to town and state specifications,” he said.
Reynolds is not sure when actual construction will begin. He said there is still some preliminary work that needs to be done, including the execution of contracts with subcontractors and a pre-construction meeting.
He said once a schedule has been developed the town would provide that information to the public.
The project has a target completion date of September 2020. However, Reynolds said, “it’s anticipated that the project will be substantially completed, utilities and road reconstruction with new pavement, by December of 2019.”
He said there would be lane closures during daytime hours, but the goal would be to ensure those closures don’t happen during peak commuting times. Reynolds said there could also be overnight closures due to “some critical construction activities, such as a major culvert crossing under Gray Road and final paving work.”
Reynolds also said a prior plan to spend $30,000 in undesignated funds to apply a thin layer of pavement to some of the most badly worn sections of Route 100, approved by the council in mid-September, never materialized.
“Although the town was planning (on this stop-gap measure), that work did not happen for a number of reasons,” he said. “Weather and the contractor’s schedule were contributing factors.”
Poore first pitched the idea for the road work in late summer because “last winter, the town received numerous complaints about the condition of the road.”
This week Reynolds said, “the town will continue to provide additional details to interested parties as it becomes available.”
Reconstruction of Route 100 in West Falmouth will be done by Shaw Brothers of Gorham.