BANGOR, Maine — Motorists traveling through the Bangor and Orono areas on Friday afternoon are reminded to keep an eye out for police officers taking part in this year’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics.
As the torch and runners make their way to the University of Maine campus, where the 2012 games will take place, they will be accompanied by police cars and support vehicles, Bangor police Chief Ron Gastia, the event’s state director, said Thursday.
As the runners will use a portion of the roadway, traffic likely will be delayed in some areas, Gastia said. Drivers are encouraged to be patient and use alternate routes when available.
According to Gastia, the Flame of Hope is expected to cross into Bangor at about 2:30 p.m.
The southern leg of the torch run will enter Bangor on Route 2 and will meet Bangor officers at the former Bangor Drive-in. From there, Bangor officers and other supporters will receive the torch and carry it to Odlin Road, then Hammond Street and then into downtown Bangor.
The Down East leg will meet the southern leg at the intersection of State and Hammond streets, from where the torch will be carried up State Street to Veazie before being handed off to other officers, who will carry it though Orono and onto College Avenue, when the Down East and southern legs will merge with the northern leg.
The torch then will be carried onto the UMaine Mall, where it will be turned over to Sanford police Officer Sarah Roberts, who will accompany an athlete to the caldron which will be lit during the opening ceremonies.
As guardians of the Flame of Hope, law enforcement officers from across the state have been carrying the torch all week long — covering a distance of about 900 miles — as they run to raise money for, and awareness of, people with intellectual disabilities.
One hundred percent of the money raised is donated to Special Olympics Maine to provide athletic opportunities for more than 3,200 athletes from around the state.