The city has approved plans to close down part of Summer Street between South and Railroad streets and transfer its ownership to Bangor Savings Bank.

The closure is intended to ease traffic on a popular shortcut for Main Street commuter traffic headed toward the Union Street bridge, said city engineer John Theriault. Cars often make a right-hand turn from Main Street onto Railroad Street, and then a left onto Summer Street, which feeds traffic toward the bridge, he said.

That traffic clogs Railroad Street, the city’s only entrance to the waterfront and waterfront concert venue, according to Theriault. It also borders what is set to be the new Bangor Savings Bank headquarters, currently in construction on the northeast corner of Railroad and Main streets.

The road closure will make the area more walkable in an area saturated with pedestrians,

bikers, and in the warmer months, concertgoers across the street at Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion, City Manager Cathy Conlow said.

The closure, which the City Council approved at its meeting on Monday, has been planned for at least a decade, but was never a priority until Railroad Street became the center of new development, Theriault said.

The portion of road will become part of the Bangor Savings Bank five-story corporate headquarters campus, which is currently under construction, Conlow said.

Typically when the council removes a public right of way, the city divides the street in half, and transfers each side to the property abutters. In this case, the only abutter is Bangor Savings Bank, Theriault said. The closure is not expected to cost the city any money, he said.

BDN writer Alex Acquisto contributed to this report

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Callie Ferguson

Callie Ferguson is an investigative reporter for the Bangor Daily News. She writes about criminal justice, police and housing.