BANGOR, Maine — It has been rough going for motorists who have used Maine Avenue regularly for the last couple of years, but a road reconstruction project should smooth things out considerably.
“It’s gotten to be in such bad shape, we may have to do a roadway rehab,” said Art Morgan, Bangor’s director of public services.
Rehab is a bit more than just repaving. It involves grinding off the existing payment anywhere from 2 to 12 inches all the way down to the gravel base and rebuilding it.
The work will include resurfacing and repaving along a 1,125-foot (0.21-mile) section of road from Godfrey Boulevard to Griffin Road as well as another 1,950 feet (0.36 miles) from Godfrey to Vermont Avenue.
Highway crews also will reconstruct the intersection of Godfrey and Maine to convert it into a roundabout like the one now at Maine and Vermont.
“A roundabout has a tighter turning radius to slow traffic down more, and the entrances are controlled by yield signs,” Morgan said of the difference between a roundabout and a rotary. “Rotaries are wider and their entrances are controlled by stop signs.”
In all, the project will cost $1.1 million — $660,000 for the roundabout and $440,000 for the resurfacing — with 80 percent paid for by federal highway funds, 10 percent by the Maine Department of Transportation, and 10 percent by the city of Bangor.
Bangor City Engineer Ted Trembley estimated the project, which will begin in mid- to late July, will take two to three months to complete.
“We’re going to try do do all aspects of the project concurrently, but we’ll be adjusting the work schedule depending on traffic volume as we go,” Morgan said.
As far as the city’s road and public works budget, Morgan said a milder than expected winter in terms of snow and other precipitation have allowed Bangor’s Public Works Department to save a bit of money compared to the previous winter.
“We’re comparable with where we were last year. We haven’t seen as many severe storms, but the additional rain adds up to more ice,” Morgan said. “We’re doing a little bit better on our plowing overtime and only paying salt and sand truck overtime.”