First Depot Street, now Main Street target of ‘streetscape’?

 

By Gail Geraghty

Staff Writer

Now that Depot Street has been made over, Bridgton officials are turning their attention to Main Street, and are looking to hire a firm to help design a streetscape makeover.

Landscape architects have been solicited to submit a bid to lead the town’s design process, which will be a “very public process” that will give businesses, residents and anyone who uses the downtown several opportunities to give their opinion on what improvements they’d like to see made, said Anne Krieg, Director of Planning, Economic and Community Development.

Mandatory site walks have been scheduled for prospective bidders on Oct. 7 and 15, when Krieg and other town officials will lead a tour of Main Street. The project area extends from the Monument on Main Hill to Pondicherry Park. Funding will come from $30,000 in the Route 302 TIFF along with $30,000 in this year’s capital budget, she said.

“We plan to meet with every property owner” in the project area and hold several public meetings, in a process similar to that which took place prior to the final design for the streetscape for Depot Street, Krieg said. At least three meetings will be held.

The project will include a full streetscape redesign, including new sidewalks, tree planters, street lights, site furnishings, curb line modifications and ADA-compliant crosswalks. The final design will form the basis for cost estimates for construction, she said.

The town is looking to phase the work over several years, with construction funding coming from several sources. Locally, Krieg said she’ll be recommending to Bridgton Selectmen, on Oct. 13, that a significant portion of Community Development Block Grant funds be set aside over three years or so to help fund the project.

Krieg said that she also hopes that the Maine Department of Transportation will partner with the town on the costs, since Main Street is a state highway. She said MDOT has several programs that work with communities specifically on downtown improvements.

Bids for the design phase will be opened on Oct. 29. Krieg said she expects that the design development phase will be completed by next May or June, after which construction specs will be prepared.

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