Ellsworth road construction ahead of schedule

Posted Sept. 24, 2010, at 12 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 12:07 p.m.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — Work on Route 1A is continuing ahead of schedule and should be completed this fall, according to the Maine Department of Transportation.

“We’re anticipating they’ll be done in 2010,” DOT Project Manager Ernie Martin said this week. “They should be wrapping up that project this fall.”

The $18 million project is part of the DOT’s long-term plan to improve the Route 1A corridor between Brewer and Mount Desert Island. The current work involves reconstruction of a 7-mile stretch in Ellsworth that will complete improvements between Brewer and Ellsworth.

According to Martin, the project has progressed well, and the two contractors on the project, Lane Construction and the Sargent Corp., have kept traffic moving throughout the busy summer travel season. Crews worked round-the-clock shifts in an effort to minimize road closures during the busiest travel times.

“The contractors have done a super job,” Martin said. “Both contractors have paid attention to the public interest. We haven’t had two cents worth of complaints about the project.”

Martin noted that the department also ran a major informational campaign during the summer in an effort to keep motorists aware of the construction schedule.

The work on the road is the first major upgrade on Route 1A since 1940s. This project widened and straightened the seven-mile stretch of road, extending work that had been done in previous years in Dedham. The project added 12-foot travel lanes with eight-foot paved shoulders along that section of road.

The major piece of the project left to complete is the paving and striping of the road, Martin said. Crews also will work on the sides of the road, adding loam and seeding those areas, he said. The paving should be done in November.

There may be a few minor items to be done next spring, but that work would not affect motorists, Martin said.

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