Road, infrastructure work starts on major Portland streets

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PORTLAND — Let the digging, and detours, begin.

Construction affecting two major city streets has started with repaving of a stretch of Washington Avenue in East Deering and the replacement of storm drains extending from State Street to Back Cove.

Later this month, work on Forest Avenue at Woodfords Corner is expected to begin, Maine Department of Transportation spokesman Ted Talbot said Tuesday.

The State Street work is the more extensive of the two projects.

Sargent Corp. will separate stormwater and wastewater drainage as part of the city’s continued effort to reduce combined sewer overflows and redirect stormwater from the Portland Water District treatment plant near East End Beach.

City Hall spokeswoman Jessica Grondin said contractors will first replace the stormwater outfall drainage into Back Cove, then work toward State Street. By July 24, it is expected work from 7 p.m.-7 a.m. will require closing portions of Preble Street Extension for installation of storm drains.

By July 17, Grondin said, contractors are set to begin installing new stormwater and wastewater drains under State Street Extension, Forest to Park avenues. The work will also be done from 7 p.m.-7 a.m., and the road will be closed during work hours for about two months.

On or about Aug. 10, Grondin said, crews will begin installing new storm drains, sewer pipes, a new PWD water main and Unitil gas main on State Street from Park Avenue to Deering Street. The work, which will be done from 7 a.m.-7 p.m., is expected to last three months.

State Street will be open only to local traffic between Park Avenue and Deering Street in this phase, and Grondin said residents will have access to their driveways. There will also be improvements to sidewalks and street crossings.

Grondin said she will send out press releases before each phase of work about the closure dates, detour routes, and parking restrictions. Work will not take place on weekends.

The repaving and restriping of Washington Avenue between Presumpscot Street and Ocean Avenue, by Glidden Excavating & Paving, is expected to last seven weeks, Grondin said. Work hours are from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. The first phase will install sidewalk ramps and curb improvements and is expected to be completed by July 21.

The existing road surface will then be milled, a job scheduled from July 24-28, Grondin said. Following that, road surface repairs, shimming and reshaping frames for manholes and catch basin frames are scheduled to be made from July 31-Aug. 11.

Grondin said final paving is set for Aug. 14-18, with new pavement markings and bike lanes planned for Aug. 21-15. Completion of the work will also eliminate some on-street parking.

The Woodfords Corner work has been preceded by the installation of stormwater drains leading to Back Cove, but the bulk of the night work will reconfigure traffic lanes and sidewalks on Forest Avenue from Lincoln Street north to beyond the railroad grade crossing.

Talbot said last month that MDOT will hold a press conference detailing the work before the project begins.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

The first phase of replacing stormwater and wastewater mains has started at Back Cove, where a new stormwater outfall will be installed.

Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.