The construction continues on Wiscasset’s controversial traffic project.
The $5 million project promises to eliminate bottlenecks that strangle the summer tourist destination.
There is plenty of construction equipment lining the side of Main Street in Wiscasset.
The Maine Department of Transportation said once the work is complete, the new route will fix the town’s traffic problems, but some shop owners said it will bring too many problems of its own.
Department officials said the project on Main Street in Wiscasset is all about accessibility and safety.
“Our main goal is to make it safer for not only the pedestrians, but the vehicles passing through,” Senior Project Manager Ernie Martin said.
Rain delays have pushed the project two weeks behind schedule, and many shop owners said the work will hurt them in the middle of tourist season.
“I’m concerned,” shop owner Erika Soule said. “I think that it’s going to be a rough summer.”
Soule owns Rock, Paper, Scissors, and said the new traffic pattern will be confusing for first time visitors passing through.
“They come into town and don’t immediately see a place to pull over, park, and visit,” Soule said. “They may just be on the bridge and they’re not going to turn around.”
Some shop owners disagree.
“We’re going to capture [their business], and we know that when they see things happening they will be interested in our future,” shop co-owner Brad Sevaldson said.
DOT officials say they will do what they can to help residents.
“We’ll provide access in some shape or form to get patrons in and out of the businesses during non-work times so they can get in and out when the contractor is not on site,” Martin said.