Work began in late 2016 and will continue through spring 2019.
Working with the Bar Harbor community, MaineDOT began preparations for the reconstruction and improvement of Route 3 in 2011. Engaging with residents and business owners through a planning committee that included representatives of Acadia National Park, a vision statement for the project was developed:
“To provide a safe, efficient and aesthetically pleasing transportation corridor that encourages multiple uses and maintains or enhances the historic standards representative of Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park.”
The group recommended “two 11-ft. (3.4 m) travel ways with 4 ft. (1.2 m) to 5 ft. (1.5 m) paved shoulders,” enhancements to pedestrian and bike safety by providing sidewalks and a multi-use path throughout the project with esplanades where possible plus updates to drainage and utilities.
The project spans 4.8 mi. (7.7 km) of Route 3/Bar Harbor Road, starting near Robbins Motel south to the intersection of Route 3/Eden Street and Route 233. Work began in late 2016 and will continue through spring 2019.
The reconstruction and rehabilitation of Route 3 starts 0.57 mi. (.9 km) west of Sand Point Road and extends easterly 4.8 mi. to Route 233. Work includes sidewalks, a multi-use path, paved shoulders and several bus turnouts. Construction will continue until the spring of 2019 without a break during summer/fall tourist seasons.
Continuous one-way loop detours have been designed to keep traffic flowing and to expedite the work. Detours will occur during certain phases of the project, as work progresses south towards Bar Harbor. Detour routes will include Crooked Road and Paradise Hill Road. Additionally, Route 233/Eagle Lake Road and Route 3/198 to Route 102 will be established as an alternate route and truck route. Ample signage will inform and guide drivers.
In anticipation of the Route 3 project detours, MaineDOT completed improvement of Route 233/Eagle Lake Road and will construct a turning traffic storage lane for Bar Harbor-bound traffic turning from Route 102 (Somesville).
The Bar Harbor Route 3 Project is estimated at $17.9 million. MaineDOT awarded the construction contract through a competitive bid process to Sargent Corporation based in Stillwater, Maine. In addition, utility companies are making improvements along the project route concurrent to clearing and drainage improvements.
When complete, the project will result in:
• paved shoulders for bicyclists and pedestrians
• new sidewalks and sidewalk improvements to meet ADA standards
• safer crossings with electronic crossing signs
• a new multi-use path along part of the project span
• where possible, a 3-ft. (.9 m) wide esplanade between sidewalk/multi-use path and the road
• new rock catchment area along the bluffs
• upgrade of intersection at Mt Desert Street and West Street.
• improved drainage and runoff management
• new road surface and striping
All construction work is weather dependent so schedules may change
• December 2016 through April 2017 — Utility work will occur along the full length of the project, along with clearing and drainage work. Throughout this period, Route 3 will remain open in both directions.
• April/May 2017 through Summer/Fall to Late 2017/Early 2018 — Construction will begin at the north end of the project, 0.57 mi. south of Sand Point Road and will proceed southward to Crooked Road. Throughout this period, two-way traffic will be maintained on Route 3 except for periods when traffic in one direction will be detoured to Crooked Road (Detour 1).
• Late 2017 through 2018, to Project Completion in Spring 2019 — Construction will progress south of Crooked Road into Bar Harbor, to the end-point at the intersection of Routes 3 and 233. Throughout this period, two-way traffic will be maintained on Route 3 except for periods when traffic in one direction will be detoured to Paradise Hill Road (Detour 2). At no point will both detours be used simultaneously. Schedules are dependent on weather and other factors, and will be updated as work progresses.
Preparations for The Bar Harbor Route 3 Project have included:
• Community engagement and input through a Context Sensitive Solutions Committee, with final recommendations provided to MaineDOT in May 2011;
• A cooperative agreement signed with MaineDOT and the town of Bar Harbor in April 2012;
• Project design from early 2013 through 2016;
• Meetings, including MaineDOT with Advisory Committee, public meetings, and landowner/business owner meetings; and
• Advance planning of detour routes, with upgrades/improvements to Eagle Lake Road and the Intersection of Route 102 Eagle Lake Road.
A key part of planning for the Bar Harbor Route 3 Project has been to minimize traffic impacts and to provide alternate routes so that travel to and from Bar Harbor and neighboring communities continues with little or only minor disruption. Accordingly:
• Lane closures with alternating one-way traffic will occur only from Nov. 1 to May 1.
• At all other times, two-way traffic must be maintained on Route 3, or a continuous one-way loop detour must be used.
Drivers can expect the following:
• To relieve traffic volume through the project work zones, Route 102/Eagle Lake Road will be established as an alternate route/truck route While work is being done from just south of Sand Point Road southward to Crooked Road, a continuous one-way loop detour will be implemented when necessary on Crooked Road.
• While work is being done on the section of Route 3/Eden Street between Paradise Hill Road southward to the intersection with Route 233, a continuous one-way loop detour will be implemented when necessary on Paradise Hill Road.
Throughout the project, drivers will be informed and guided by ample signage, and aided by the installation of temporary traffic control signals at key points. Drivers should plan ahead and allow extra time to travel through the alternate route or through the designated one-way detours. As always, MaineDOT asks drivers to please drive safely, and to slow down when passing through work zones.
For more information, visit http://maine.gov/mdot/projects/barharbor/rt3/.
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