Road work makes Portland travel challenging

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PORTLAND — Construction season will be a long one in Parkside this fall as infrastructure work closes down sections of Park Avenue and State Street.

Other projects will also affect foot and vehicle traffic elsewhere on the city’s peninsula.

On Monday, a project to separate stormwater and wastewater drainage, and add new water mains and gas lines, led to the closure of State Street from Park to Cumberland avenues.

An Aug. 24 press release from Julie Sullivan, senior adviser to City Manager Jon Jennings, said State Street is expected to be closed for three months while work continues daily from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

The street will not reopen to through traffic on evenings and weekends, and on-street parking on State Street will be restricted.

Motorists driving to South Portland via the Casco Bay Bridge are encouraged to use Exits 5 and 5A from Interstate 295 to the Fore River Parkway and West Commercial Street. Detours for in-town traffic include Forest and Deering avenues and Mellen Street.

On Sunday, crews also began night work for the same project at the intersection of Park Avenue and State Street that will close the intersection completely from 9 p.m.-7 a.m. From 7-9 p.m., only one lane in each direction will be open, but the contractor is required to fully open Park Avenue to traffic by 7 a.m. each day. Work at the intersection is expected to last two weeks.

Construction will also affect traffic in the India Street neighborhood, where a section of Fore Street between India and Hancock streets will be closed to westbound traffic until the end of the year.

Sullivan said westbound motorists should continue on Hancock Street to Thames Street. A temporary sidewalk, protected by concrete barriers, will also be installed. The traffic restrictions were scheduled to be in effect Monday.

The work on Fore Street is occurring as a gas main replacement limits parking on India Street between Congress and Fore streets, Sullivan said.

Work to build new bus shelters and improve sidewalks on Congress Street also began Monday. Sullivan said phase 1B of the Congress Street Bus Priority Corridor construction should have “minimal” effects on traffic as work goes from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays.

Crews will move east from Congress and Park streets to Congress and Federal streets, and Sullivan said pedestrians should expect sidewalk detours.

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

Work to replace water mains and gas pipes is beginning to work its way uphill on State Street in Portland, which was closed to traffic between Park and Cumberland avenues Aug. 28.

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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.