MaineDOT Plans Big, Small Building Projects in 2021-23

Mon February 01, 2021 - Northeast Edition
Waterville Morning Sentinel


If you're wondering whether the roads on your commute to work, or if you're working from home, the road to the grocery store, is due for a fix, the MaineDOT may have your answer.

The state agency recently released a searchable database as part of its three-year work plan, where anyone can view projects slated for 2021-23 organized by the municipality.

"Years and years ago, our work plans used to be in print version and only distributed to policymakers and such," MaineDOT Commissioner Bruce Van Note said in a phone interview. "We realized, to take a spoof on Tip O'Neill's saying, ‘All politics is local,' well, all transportation is local, too."

The DOT has released a similar database each year since 2013. There are plenty of central Maine projects included in the report, many of which are big-ticket items – roads, bridges and airport jobs – slated to be built from Augusta to Pittsfield. The finances include all sources of funding, including federal, state and municipal dollars as well as grants.

The state's plans, can be found at https://www.maine.gov/mdot/projects/workplan/index.shtml

"We came up with this work plan process so people could see what we are doing the next three years, and through our website, can go back and see what we've done," Van Note explained. "The DOT's work plan process is often perceived as just a group of projects. And of course, it is, but it's really an assembly line that just keeps going."

Here's a look at projects around central Maine:

Waterville

Eight projects are estimated to cost more than $1 million. The biggest of these is the $40.5 million replacement of the Ticonic Bridge between Waterville and Winslow in 2022 and 2023. In addition, the Robert LaFleur Airport will see a $6.28 million safety and infrastructure improvement in 2021; the Interstate 95 northbound and southbound bridges spanning Webb Road just north of the Sidney town line, midway between exits 124 and 127, will be replaced for more than $4.5 million each in 2022 and 2023.

Augusta

Runway and taxiway reconstruction at the Augusta State Airport will be accomplished in 2021 at a cost of $3.35 million. Multi-million-dollar bridge construction also is slated for 2022-2023 with the replacement of Rines Hill Bridge over the old Maine Central Railroad coming in at $4.45 million; and the replacement of the Western Avenue bridge over I-95 is expected to cost $8.5 million.

Belgrade

In 2022, a project described as a mitigation effort to offset impacts to wells will cost $2 million. The effort also includes a groundwater investigation.

China

In 2022 and 2023, MaineDOT plans to address a large culvert on U.S. Highway 202 near the intersection of Pond Road. The work, which is estimated to cost $515,000, includes highway safety and spot improvements, in addition to culvert upgrades.

Clinton

The Manley Holt Bridge is expected to be replaced to the tune of $2.1 million in 2022 and 2023.

Fairfield

State Rt. 139 will get $2.93 million worth of work in paving and other improvements. More than 5 mi. of the route will get attention in 2022 and 2023.

Sidney

Upgrades to Maine Rt. 104 also will take place in 2021, as a $920,000 project will resurface and pave the road for more than 5 mi. beginning just north of the Augusta town line.

Skowhegan

U.S. 2 West will get $660,000 worth of work in two projects. The first, which is lined up for this year, involves 6.37 mi. of surface and base maintenance. The second and larger effort will be at the intersection of Madison Avenue and Commercial Street. Town residents will see safety and spot improvements, as well as signal improvements in 2022 and 2023.

Vassalboro

U.S. 201 will get some assistance later this year, with $941,000 worth of work. New pavement will be laid beginning at the Augusta line and expanding northward for more than 4 mi.

Winslow

Two $1 million-plus projects are scheduled in the next few years. A $1.1 million contract will provide paving and filling on Benton Avenue beginning at the Clinton Avenue intersection and expanding north for approximately seven-tenths of a mile. In 2022 or 2023, $1.91 million will go toward a replacement of the Fish Bridge over Winslow Stream near the Benton line.

Norridgewock

The Central Maine Regional Airport has three different projects on the docket totaling $859,000 for a multiphase, three-year effort focused on safety and infrastructure improvements through field investigations, studies and research.

Pittsfield

Work also is set to occur at the Pittsfield municipal airport in 2021 where nearly $1 million worth of infrastructure improvements will be done, which may include a six-bay hanger. Bridge work on I-95 going through the city also is planned for the area in 2022-23.

The Sebasticook River Bridge, spanning southbound over the interstate, will receive $4.38 million in rehabilitation work; a $2.6 million rehab is slated for the southbound North Main Street Bridge over Madawaska Avenue, while the northbound structure's deck will be replaced for $1.18 million.

Another replacement of the bridge deck of the southbound State Rt. 152 and Maine Central Railroad bridge over Rt. 152 has been budgeted to cost $2.93 million.

Van Note said the coronavirus pandemic impacted the planning process in a couple ways: fewer people have been driving, so fuel tax revenue is not as high. However, interest rates are so low, bonding and federal funding allows MaineDOT to move forward.

With the public database, he encourages everyone who wishes to view the state's upcoming transportation projects, and at what cost, can do so.

"We just like people to be able to see where their money is going so they can ask questions," Van Note said.




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