Summertime in Maine means days at the beach, an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables – and road work.
This summer, construction on two heavily traveled routes in South Portland will cause headaches for commuters and visitors alike as the projects will take many weeks to complete.
Work started this week on a mile stretch of Route 77, from Broadway to the Cape Elizabeth town line. On the other side of town, work is being done on Cummings Road, from Gannett Drive to Payne Road.
Both Ted Talbot, spokesman for the Maine Maine Department of Transportation, and Doug Howard, South Portland’s director of public works, urge motorists to have patience, avoid the constructions areas when possible and follow all safety rules, including construction zone speed limits.
Talbot said motorist and construction worker safety is of paramount importance in both construction zones. “Please be aware of distractions – phone use, changing conditions and flaggers,” he said.
On both projects, alternating one-way traffic will be the norm, according to Talbot and Howard. Motorists could expect delays of up to five minutes or more, depending on the time of day, Talbot said.
The road project on Route 77, Ocean Street, is expected to cost about $450,000 with no local match required, Talbot said.
He said that project, which started with sidewalk work, should take about eight weeks to complete. The contractor on the job is Glidden Excavating and Paving of Gorham. The project includes milling and repaving with striping improvements.
“Like replacing the roof on a house, the surface of pavements need to be replaced or repaired regularly,” he said.
In a previous interview, Howard told the Current that the Cummings Road project is expected to cost nearly $1.3 million, with the state pitching in some funds and South Portland’s share coming from tax increment financing.
Work on Cummings Road was expected to start on Wednesday, June 29, after the Current’s deadline, and will include restoration of the road surface and storm drain improvements. The project should be completed sometime in mid-September, Howard said.
Meanwhile, road work also is under way on Black Point Road in the Oak Hill neighborhood of Scarborough.
A construction project on Ocean Street in South Portland is expected to cause traffic delays for much of the summer.