Drivers and pedestrians can expect a few more weeks of bumpy streets, detours and orange cones, but construction work in downtown Bangor is entering its final stretch. Crews are scheduled for smoothing over the ridged and uneven roads by the end of the month.
Replacement of all the decades-old utility pipelines was completed two weeks ago, according to City Engineer John Theriault.
State, Exchange, Park and Harlow streets either have binder, which is the base layer but looks like dark pavement, or have been milled, which creates the lines of ridges on the roads. All streets are ready for the top pavement layer to be applied, Theriault said, except French Street where final paving is complete.
The entire project will be finished by Nov. 30, barring cleanup and finishing touches such as brickwork and landscaping, which will be added in spring.
“This has been one of the biggest infrastructure projects in the downtown area in a long time,” Theriault said Friday.
“It’s a hard project, and there’s been a lot of things that have caused delays for the contractor,”
Theriault said, explaining that since the pipes and equipment are more than a century old, the lack of records made replacing sewer, water and storm water pipes more difficult.
Now it’s a race to get it all covered up because pavement plants that make the pavement typically close around the first week of December,” Theriault said.
On another part of the project, most of the infrastructure for the test area of heated sidewalks has been installed on Exchange Street. Pipes that go into the buildings on both sides of the street circulate hot water, which heats the sidewalk cement, Theriault said.
Building owners and businesses on Exchange Street will have the option of hooking up their heating systems to the portion of sidewalk outside their buildings.
The city has decided to try heated sidewalks in one block to see if it is something business owners will want to support.
“If they all hook up and run the systems, and we have heated sidewalks during winter, the city will consider [continuing] it,” Theriault said.