The Bangor City Council has given final approval to a $433,777 construction project that will make it easier for bicyclists and pedestrians to avoid the knots of vehicles heading to shopping centers on Stillwater Avenue and Hogan Road.
This spring, the city will construct a nearly half-mile paved trail that starts on the western edge of Eastern Maine Community College and wraps around the off-ramp of Interstate 95 before depositing riders and walkers on Stillwater Avenue.
When the trail is finally opened to the public later this year, it will start at the western end of Sylvan Road — which starts on Hogan Road and runs past car dealerships, a hotel and EMCC’s Rangeley Hall.
The new trail will then extend through the wooded area just south of the I-95 off-ramp before ending on Stillwater Avenue, just south of the I-95 overpass. That will allow trail users to avoid the busiest sections of Stillwater Avenue, including the entrances to the Bangor Mall and other shopping centers, which are all to the north of the I-95 overpass.
The new path will be 12 feet wide and 0.45 miles long. The federal government is paying 80 percent of the project’s cost while the city is paying the remaining 20 percent.
City Engineer John Theriault said that general contractor Vaughn D. Thibodeau II Inc. is now doing preliminary work for the project, which will require clearing woods before building the paved path. Because of the relatively warm weather this winter, Theriault said, the firm will try to complete some of the work before mud season arrives. He estimated the trail could be completed at some point this summer.
The city received five other higher bids for the project, ranging from $440,405 to $993,380.