BANGOR, Maine — City officials and the Maine Department of Transportation will sit down to hash out a plan to make a busy stretch of road near the Bangor Mall more hospitable for pedestrians.
The city’s infrastructure committee backed a $30,000 agreement with MDOT to design and plan a project that would put a sidewalk and crosswalks on Hogan Road during a meeting on Tuesday evening.
It’s likely the full council will give the official go-ahead at its next meeting later this month. Federal funding will cover $24,000 of the cost, with the city picking up the remainder.
The sidewalk would be built on the side of the street opposite the mall. One crosswalk would be placed at the Bangor Mall entrance, another at the Stillwater intersection and the third at the Longview Drive intersection.
A year ago the city learned it had been awarded a nearly $167,000 federal Transportation Enhancement Grant to complete the project, which is aimed at improving pedestrian safety in the area.
Currently, there aren’t any sidewalks or crossings in the area, and pedestrians run a risk walking along the sloped grass along the roads or crossing the streets.
In November 2013, two Canadian sisters were on a shopping trip in Bangor when they were struck by a van while trying to cross the road near the Olive Garden. Both have recovered from serious injuries and returned to Canada.
The city has recognized the need for improvements on that road. Wardwell had applied for the grant to build pedestrian facilities on Hogan Road in the summer of 2012, months before the accident.
Still, the improvements shouldn’t be expected until 2016, MDOT officials have said.
But the money to begin construction likely won’t be available anytime soon, as the state has already booked funding for projects through 2015 in its biennial budget, and the Bangor project hasn’t yet made the list.
Congress provides funding to states each year to help municipalities complete transportation improvements that will help the safety of drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists.
“We’ll make it shovel ready, and as soon as money’s available we’ll go with it,” Public Works Director Dana Wardwell said Tuesday.
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