Causeway construction revs up

By Dawn De Busk
Staff Writer

NAPLES – Expect delays is the word of caution from the resident engineer working on the Bay of Naples Bridge project. Be patient is his advice.

During the month of April and May, construction on the Causeway is going to rev up while crews complete as much road work as possible before Memorial Day weekend.

“You could be stuck in traffic for 20 to 30 minutes. They are going to close the road along the Causeway to one-lane-only traffic,” according to Maine Department of Transportation resident Engineer Craig Hurd, who has been working closely on the two-year project.

“There will be delays. I want people to expect that because there isn’t much you can do about it,” Hurd said.

He added the closings on the Causeway could start during the last week of March.

Crews will be taking of advantage of the spring thaw to rip out road.

But, the real reason for the push to get the new road paved: According to MDOT’s agreement with Naples, in the summer, construction crews have to keep two lanes of traffic open all the time.

During the next two months, crews from Wyman & Simpson will be occupying half the road to get the job done.

“Basically, they have to rip up all the pavement and gravel in the Causeway, and rebuild the whole road,” Hurd said.

“That’s where traffic tie ups are majorly,” he said.

“They’ll rip up a section and put gravel back by nighttime. It’ll be back to two lanes people will be driving on gravel,” Hurd explained.

“Between installation of pipe, digging road up and putting it back in – that’s two months,” Hurd said.

He added crews will continue to work on the road after Memorial Day.

However, to accommodate heavier summertime traffic, there won’t be the lane closures like there will be this spring, he said.

“In the summer, we have to keep two lanes of traffic open all the time,” Hurd said. Lane closures are also prohibited during the weekend of the Fryeburg Fair.

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