HOULTON, Maine — Fall is approaching and the leaves on the trees in Houlton are turning to glorious shades of red, orange and gold.

Over the summer, Bangor Street has turned from black to brown, but this is good news for those who travel the road daily because progress is being made on the reconstruction of the heavily traveled section of Route 2A.

Town Manager Douglas Hazlett said recently that work on the road is progressing well. Construction crews arrived on the scene in the spring to begin repairing the route, which was so riddled with potholes and ruts that avoiding as many of them as possible was vital to reducing stress on a car’s shocks, struts and tires.

The state-owned route was supposed to be reconstructed in 2001, but a lack of finances at the state level curtailed the project until this year.

Until crews began repairing the road, it was prone to flooding in heavy rain during the spring and was the site of numerous motor vehicle accidents. Although the town’s public works department did its best to patch and repair the route over the years, it could not keep ahead of its deterioration.

Town officials complained that the decrepit road was an embarrassment that was hampering economic development in the area. As the road continued to worsen and state funding for its repair still didn’t materialize, the road soon was pegged as a public safety issue.

During a recent Town Council meeting, Hazlett assured townspeople that the project was moving ahead as scheduled. Over the summer, much of the asphalt on the lengthy corridor was removed and the road graded down to a layer of dirt and gravel.

Hazlett thanked residents for their patience and reminded people that the project was intended to take place over two years.