South Portland council OKs spending for road projects

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SOUTH PORTLAND — Construction season will carry almost $50,000 in extra city expenses this year after city councilors Wednesday approved more funding to shift sewer manholes in three road construction projects.

Maine Department of Transportation resurfacing work on Rumery and Dartmouth streets and Broadway was slated to cost about $1.29 million, with a city share of $136,000.

In a memo, City Manager Jim Gailey detailed the need to adjust manhole locations on each job, with the most expensive modifications adding more than $38,000 to the city share for resurfacing Broadway between Cottage Road and Pickett Street.

With Councilor Al Livingston absent, the council was also unanimous in its support to apply for Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System grants to study local traffic, and pedestrian and bicycle access.

Included in the grant applications are a land-use study coordinated with the Gorham East West Corridor Study, studies to improve and expand bicycle and pedestrian access on Main Street and Billy Vachon Drive, and a possible connector road linking Highland Avenue and Main Street in the western part of the city.

Local share of the study funding is more than $15,000, or 20 percent of the cost. The local funding will be included in the fiscal year 2014 municipal capital improvements program, Gailey informed the council.

Finally, a land swap with Hornby Zeller Properties was unanimously approved, with the city gaining a 612-square-foot piece of land off Broadway near Mill Creek in exchange for same-sized, city-owned land at 373 Broadway. The swap resolves boundary encroachment issues for the company.

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

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.