Causeway paving plans to proceed

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

On Monday, two employees from Wyman and Simpson Inc. work under the arch of the Bay of Naples Bridge. Meanwhile, a crew from R.J. Grondin and Sons Inc. is working atop the bridge as paving is staged to begin soon. (De Busk Photo)

NAPLES — The paving of a new section of Route 302, where the road crosses the new arched bridge, is tentatively scheduled to start Monday.

The paving project’s start date hinges on the state approving the asphalt mixture, which originates from Pike Industries, according to Superintendent Jeff Simpson who works for the general contractor, Wyman and Simpson Inc.

“They are having some problems at the hot top plant,” he said on Tuesday morning.

The pre-testing of the asphalt mixture is done for quality control reasons, Simpson said. Also, the asphalt recipe differs from job site to job site, he said.

“It depends on the type of mix they are putting down” for the road, Simpson said.

This part of the project is “right on” schedule, he said. Earlier this month, the paving had been planned for Thursday, but the time it takes to arrive at the correct mixture won’t put the job behind schedule.

When the paving does begin, drivers can expect traffic delays on the Causeway. At that time, the wait for people stopped in vehicles could be considerably longer than when lane closures resumed in late March, according to Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) Resident Engineer Craig Hurd.

While the job of paving the new bridge’s road surface will be done in two or three days, people can expect lane closures through the Friday before Memorial Day weekend, Hurd said.

First item on the work list: A crew from R.J. Grondin and Sons, Inc. will pave the new road base on the north side of the existing Route 302. That area is east of the old bridge to past the west end of the retaining wall.

According to Hurd, rain is not a factor in whether or not the paving will proceed. However, when it comes to re-paving or paving on top of existing pavement, wet weather would delay the work, he said. Portions of Route 302, which were paved last fall, will need to be repaved this spring, he said.

On Tuesday afternoon, Hurd said, “There is a slim chance that the paving (of the bridge roadway) starts as early as Friday. But, most likely, it will start on Monday.”

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