A prominent construction project that will move the entrance of Bangor’s Pickering Square parking garage and remodel the surrounding area will begin in the next few weeks.
After the city failed to find any builders when the work first went out to bid late in 2018, it again sought bids this spring and received three proposals ranging from a low of $1.09 million to a high of $1.45 million.
On Monday night, the City Council awarded the project to the lowest bidder, Hughes Brothers Inc. of Hampden.
With that approval, City Engineer John Theriault said that city staff will meet with the contractor later this week. Preliminary work should begin in the next two or three weeks, he said.
The project will move the entrance of the parking garage away from the left side of the front of the structure, where buses and passengers also gather, to the right side at the corner of Broad and Water streets.
As part of the early work, the city will install temporary facilities for riders of the Community Connector buses on the perimeter of Pickering Square, as the existing waiting area and bathrooms on the front of the parking garage will be affected by the construction.
Once the temporary facilities are in place, the contractor will begin the rest of the work. It will include the installation of a new ramp inside the garage connecting to the new entrance on the right side of the building. During that work, drivers will still be able to use the existing entrance, Theriault said.
The project is expected to go until Aug. 30.
The contractor will also re-landscape the triangle of land between the Kenduskeag Stream foot bridge and the office building at 1 Merchants Plaza. As that work is happening, it could create brief disruptions for the buildings and businesses on Main Street that have back entrances along Merchants Plaza, Theriault said.
The project is the first phase of a larger overhaul of Pickering Square, which is meant to make the area safer for pedestrians who now must wait for buses near the entrance to the parking garage. It will also add about 19 parking spots in the garage.
The second phase, which is still being designed, will see the pedestrian bridge rebuilt. As part of the third phase, the redesign of the square will continue. That redesign will take into account the findings of a study that’s now being done of the Community Connector, Theriault said.