LINCOLN, Maine — One of Lincoln’s oldest restaurants will get a total upgrade if the Lincoln Planning Board approves its most recent submission on Monday, Town Manager Lisa Goodwin said Sunday.
The McDonald’s on West Broadway in the Hannaford shopping center will be totally razed and replaced with a new structure under plans the board will examine at the town office at 7 p.m., Goodwin said.
Goodwin didn’t have available the cost of the construction project, but said it would alleviate traffic jams in the shopping center and on West Broadway that typically occur at lunchtime and during commutes.
“It is a good sign for our economy,” Goodwin said Sunday. “It is a needed improvement there. Anytime you go by it you can see traffic jammed up there. This will alleviate a lot of their parking problems there, and new construction is always a positive. The value of the restaurant is going to increase.”
The restaurant opened in 1983 and hasn’t been substantially upgraded since. It is among close to a dozen fast-food and more traditional eateries on West Broadway and Main Street in Lincoln.
The restaurant upgrade should bolster somewhat a struggling regional economy in which Lincoln granted just 227 building permits in 2011, down from 328 the previous year and 358 in 2009. The planning board and code enforcement office issued 14 new businesses permits in 2011, the same number as in 2010, Code Enforcement Supervisor Ruth Birtz has said.
Birtz did not immediately return a telephone message on Sunday.
Workers at the restaurant, which employs 62 people — mostly part-time workers — are excited about having a new building, said Barbara Ward, the store’s night manager.
“We need a new one,” she said. “This one is old. People here are a little worried about the three months off [for construction] but we’ll get by.”
According to the construction plans, the rebuilt restaurant will use a vacant lot adjacent to the old structure, thereby better using space within the shopping center parking lot, Goodwin said. The new restaurant also will have two drive-through lanes instead of the present one.
The board isn’t expected to approve the new plans Monday. That review just starts the planning-board process. If all goes well, construction of the new restaurant should begin in March, Goodwin said.