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Bus service hub to open at Mill Creek in South Portland

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Bus service hub to open at Mill Creek in South Portland

SOUTH PORTLAND — After nearly a year of construction, the Mill Creek Transit Hub will open Monday, May 19.

The city will hold a formal ceremony to celebrate the opening on Thomas Street, behind City Hall, at 10 a.m.

The hub will be a transfer point for South Portland Bus Service riders from the eastern and western parts of the city, and will provide indoor space to wait for buses. It will be open during bus service hours from 5 a.m.-11:45 p.m., and will permanently replace a bus stop on Hinckley Drive. 

Construction of the new hub was a component of the Knightville infrastructure renovations that began in 2011, as part of the neighborhood's sewer separation project.

Art Handman, the city transportation director, said the hub cost about $300,000, with the U.S. Department of Transportation picking up 75 percent of the bill. 

Rick Sargent, operations supervisor for city transportation, said the project began last June and was finished last November, but that water leakage and door adjustments required the opening to be delayed until warmer weather allowed repairs. 

Handman said grant funding for air conditioning and heat inside the building is part of the city's fiscal year 2015 capital improvement budget, and will likely be ready by July. The grant will also fund an awning along the sidewalk of Thomas Street, with a wind protector screen for more comfortable outdoor seating, and electronic signs indicating when the next bus is coming, although Handman said the sign installation could go into next year. 

"We’re excited to open it," Sargent said. "It's a beautiful building and riders are excited."

Shelby Carignan can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or scarignan@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @shelbycarignan.