A Route 3 detour sign from road construction in 2018. Credit: Nick Sambides Jr.

The state will halt work for the Memorial Day weekend on the $18.5 million reworking of Route 3 that has caused considerable headaches in Bar Harbor since it began three years ago.

Contractors will suspend road work at the end of the day on Thursday along a 4.7-mile stretch of Eden Street that has been dominated by construction crews, loud machinery and detour signs. Over the weekend, traffic on the road will run one way, inbound to Bar Harbor. Outbound traffic will detour to Park Loop Road in Acadia National Park, according to the Maine Department of Transportation.

Route 3 is Mount Desert Island’s busiest road and plugs into the heart of Bar Harbor, which is the island’s biggest municipality and one of Maine’s most popular tourist destinations. The reshaping of the road between the Bar Harbor Quality Inn and Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf has been no small headache since it began, residents have said.

So far, the road work has been nowhere near as onerous as in years past, said Alf Anderson, membership and marketing director with the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce.

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“This year what they are doing is a lot more cosmetic so it is a lot less disruptive,” Anderson said Wednesday.

Work crews are finishing sidewalks, concrete curbing, drains and ramps that will, among other things, make the sidewalks accessible to residents with disabilities. Erosion is being cleaned up and grass seed planted and some driveways will be paved, according to a webpage dedicated to the project at maine.gov.

The road work will resume on Tuesday morning, officials said, and, weather permitting, will finish on June 15, Senior Project Manager Rhobe Moulton said.

“Right now, we are placing loam along the project route, getting ready to pave the stretch from Pirates Cove Golf Course to the Acadia National Park entrance, and paving sidewalks,” Moulton said in a statement released Wednesday.

Landscaping is ongoing from College of the Atlantic to Eagle Lake Road.

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