BATH — Rehabilitation of a 3.5-mile stretch of High Street, running from U.S. Route 1 to the West Bath town line, is on the horizon.
The project costs about $1.2 million, with $500,000 coming from the Maine Department of Transportation; the city is bonding the balance. Harry C. Crooker & Sons of Topsham will be doing the work.
Subsurface work begins this month, including replacement of culverts, installation of drains, moving of curbs and repairs to sewer pipes, Public Works Director Peter Owen said. Shimming of the road is to take place in mid-September.
“That’s where they … put a layer of pavement down, to put the crown back over the road,” he explained, noting that the crown – the heightened center of the road, from which water drains down to the edges – tends to flatten over time.
Shimming “is just adding a thickness of pavement more toward the center, and re-shaping the road to its proper cross-section” before the surface pavement is laid, Owen said.
“There are over 100 manhole covers and catch basins that all have to be brought up to grade before you can actually put the surface on,” he said.
New pavement could be laid in October, with the whole project completed in mid-November.
The stretch of road is a busy one, particularly in the summer. Also known as Route 209, High Street is traditionally maintained by the state, but happens to be low on the priority list, Owen noted.
“If we want it done, then the city’s going to have to do it, but it’s a very expensive effort by the city,” he explained.
The street will be closed to one lane during the project, and “people can expect delays once the construction starts,” Owen said.