Acadia gets $2.6 million to fix roads, culverts

Posted April 21, 2010, at 9:50 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:45 a.m.

ACADIA NATIONAL PARK, Maine — The $2.6 million coming to the park in the form of road and culvert improvements is expected to be the final stage of a five-year project to improve Acadia’s motor vehicle road system.

Jim Vekasi, head of Acadia’s maintenance division, said Wednesday that 90 percent of the federal stimulus money would go toward repaving secondary roads and improving culverts in Acadia’s Park Loop Road system.

The Park Loop Road, which is the busiest in the park, and other main roads such as the Schoodic Loop Road already have been repaved and their culverts repaired, he said.

He said the remaining work, which is being done by Sargent Corp. of Old Town, is expected to begin in earnest next week.

“It’s already started,” Vekasi said. “They’re starting to mobilize right now.”

The work is expected to last until November, he said, but it is not expected to cause problems for park visitors during the busy summer season. The improvements will be scheduled strategically so it does not cause congestion along the roads where crews will be working, he said.

Vekasi said Acadia has been able to get consistent funding for road projects over the past several years, which has helped prevent park officials from having to space out the improvements over a longer period of time. He said that, with luck, the next round of repaving and culvert work would not have to be done until after 2020.

“We did real well the past five years,” Vekasi said. “That means we should be in good shape for several years.”

The funds bring to more than $7 million the total of stimulus money that Acadia has received. The park is getting $4.6 million for ongoing renovations at the Schoodic Education and Research Center, which was part of a local Navy base until 2002. In that project, the park is removing some former Navy buildings, renovating others, and improving the center’s landscaping, pedestrian access and road network.

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