Expect delays as Route 11 improvements begin

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESBy Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

CASCO — Drivers have a good reason to slow down on Route 11.

It is not just because of the presence of police cruisers in the American Legion parking lot or the school buses on the road in the mornings and afternoons.

During the daytime hours on Route 11, traffic flaggers’ “Slow” and “Stop” signs should give drivers extra cause to brake. During the evenings last week, there were about a half dozen sections of the roadway where the pavement gave away to gravel. Not slowing down for those could give drivers a jarring experience as well as good justification to brake next time.

“Caution,” “Slow down” and “Stop” could be the key words for commuters on Route 11 this summer. The same motto rings true for those who travel on Route 35 in Harrison.

The Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) is doing ditch and culvert work on both Route 11 and Route 35 this month. Both roads are slated for improvements later this summer.

According to MDOT Superintendent Tim Cusick, on both road repair projects MDOT crews removed aging culverts and put new ones underground, while keeping traffic delays limited to a matter of minutes.

“However, future culvert work will stop traffic,” he said.

On Monday, Route 11 will be closed to traffic from Leach Hill Road to Quaker Ridge Road, he said.

This is “the only time that we’ll have to detour the road,” Cusick said. “The culverts will need to be removed on that section of road by closing it,” he said.

Town Manager Dave Morton said people might want to preplan their Monday morning commute.

“They are replacing culverts that are 40 or 50 years old. They cannot do half (the road) at a time,” he said.

Cusick predicted that MDOT’s work on Route 11 should be completed in three weeks. Then, the road reclamation process should begin in mid-July, he said. Improvements include nine miles of road from Route 302 to White Oaks Hill Road, where the traffic light is located in Poland.

The culvert work on Route 35 should be wrapped up this week, he said. That road is slated to be widened; the end result will be 12-foot lanes with 2-foot-wide shoulders, he said. The Harrison project encompasses a half-mile section and begins June 9, Cusick said.

 

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