FALMOUTH — Design work on the U.S. Route 1 redevelopment project is beginning after a town committee selected a consultant for the expected $11.7 million project.
Fay, Spofford and Thorndike, based in Burlington, Mass., with an office in South Portland, was unanimously chosen by the Community Development Committee to lay out the design for the business corridor for $314,550.
FST’s bid of just over $314,500 was selected over five others, which ranged from $170,000 to nearly $500,000.
Town Councilor Russ Anderson, chairman of the Community Development Committee, said the committee met with five members of the FST design team about a week ago, following a review of the bids by town staff.
“We established a strong comfort level of the quality of people they have and with what we expect to do,” Anderson said at Monday’s Town Council meeting.
He said the committee felt comfortable with FST, considering its past work in Falmouth, which includes the Tidewater FarmTidewater Village development and various sewer and utility improvements. Some members of the design team are Falmouth residents and the project manager, Joe Laverriere, was a resident for more than 20 years, according to FST.
Anderson said the team is expected to complete the design in enough detail by mid-November to send the construction out to bid. Work is expected to begin in 2014, with the paving portion on hold until 2015.
The town will have several meetings for stakeholders and the general public in the coming months and the CDC will meet regularly to discuss the design progress.
“There are a lot of details in there,” Anderson said referring to the design plan. “This is the time to understand at a very specific level for anyone who has that interest.”
While the chance to make dramatic changes to the project has passed, the public meetings will be an opportunity to ask final questions and provide input on all aspects of the plan before construction goes out to bid, Town Manager Nathan Poore said.
Voters approved the Route 1 redesign project in June by a slim margin, following several years of planning.
The project plan calls for burying utility lines and making infrastructure improvements to the street, sidewalks and intersections between the intersection of Route 88 and the Maine Turnpike interchange. The project also includes installation of new street lights and medians, landscaping and storm-water management improvements.
The new design is expected to be coordinated with changes to the zoning ordinance that were made in May, designed to encourage more village-like development.
The changes include requirements for new business property development, notably that storefronts be brought forward, pushing parking for most buildings to the rear of properties, and reducing the minimum spaces required.
Several other towns in Maine, including Yarmouth and Standish, have made similar changes in their zoning laws.
Through zoning and infrastructure changes, towns are expected to become less car-centric and more accommodating for walkers and bicyclists.