Village street project uncertain

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GORHAM — The Maine Department of Transportation hadn’t decided early this week whether to proceed with a project to rebuild Main Street after recently receiving only one bid on the job.

Shaw Brothers Construction of Gorham bid $6.6 million. The state earlier this year estimated the cost at $5.2 million, but this week posted online an estimated cost of $7.2 million.

“We’re still in the process of reviewing the bid,” Rob Betz, the MDOT project manager, said Tuesday.

A decision could come in a few days, he said.

The project would rebuild about 1.5 miles of Route 25 through Gorham Village. A construction contract would require crews work only nights, Betz said. The night work would avoid detours with the exception of three days when traffic from Standish would be detoured to the Bernard P. Rines Bypass.

Jon Shaw, president of Shaw Brothers, agreed Wednesday that the state transportation officials are right about working nights on the project because daytime traffic would impede getting their trucks through to the job. But, Shaw said, night work drives up costs. “So expensive to work at night,” Shaw said.

“I don’t know what to expect,” Shaw said about receiving a green light from the state on the project.

Town Manager David Cole Wednesday said he doesn’t expect it the bid to be approved. “I believe they are planning to reject the bid and review plans to see if they can make changes that will lower the cost and then re-bid the project.”

Shaw said shutting down Main Street (Route 25) during the day to traffic except for emergency vehicles would save the state money, as would allowing sidewalk work in the daytime.

The highway rebuild would go from a point just east of the Main Street intersection of Johnson Road and running through the village on Main and State streets to near the intersection with Cressey Road. The rehab would include breaking up sections of the old concrete highway beneath the asphalt surface and also replacing water mains that date back to 1895.

If Shaw Brothers Construction receives a contract, Gorham Sand & Gravel would handle the water work, Shaw said.

Gorham voters in a referendum in November 2015 approved $600,000 as the town’s share of the road rebuild.

“I don’t know if the project can be done this year or if the process I described would simply take too long to accomplish for construction to start until next year,” Cole said.

Robert Lowell can be reached at 854-2577 or email rlowell@keepmecurrent.com.