April 21, 2018
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Traffic likely to be affected as MDI power project resumes

By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff

TRENTON, Maine —- A project aimed at improving the reliability of electrical service to Mount Desert Island is expected to resume this month.

Bangor Hydro-Electric Co. started work on the $21 million project, which involves the installation of underground electrical conduits on the Trenton Causeway, in 2008 by installing new, additional transmission lines between Ellsworth and Trenton. Last fall, the power company began work on the causeway part of the project, installing the new conduits between a new power substation in Trenton and MDI.

Bangor Hydro decided to upgrade its service to MDI after storms and periods of high demand caused repeated outages in Bar Harbor and other MDI towns earlier in the 2000s.

The causeway project was put on hiatus last winter because of weather and again this past May because of the high volume of seasonal traffic across the causeway.

Last week, the company issued another press release indicating that it plans to resume work on Monday, Sept. 12. While work is being done, the speed limit will be reduced to 30 mph and only one lane of traffic might be open while construction materials are being delivered or put in place, the release indicated.

Boat traffic beneath the causeway bridge might be affected by the work, which includes installation of conduit under the bridge, Bangor Hydro indicated. Temporary staging under the bridge is expected to reduce clearance by approximately 6 feet, they said. The staging is expected to be in place for three to four weeks beginning Sept. 12.

Company officials said in the release that they realize the project may constrict traffic across and under the bridge.

“We appreciate the public’s help and understanding during this construction process,” Bangor Hydro project manager Jim Cameron said in the release. “We are working hard to minimize any inconveniences as we strive to improve electric service reliability to our customers on MDI.”

The causeway portion of the project is expected to be finished by the end of October, depending on construction and weather conditions, the company indicated.

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