Route 11: ‘Priority’ to fix it

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESBy Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

CASCO — It is truly evident that a road is in need of repair when the town representatives invite in the chaos of construction.

Town Manager Dave Morton recently said he “won’t mind having Route 11 torn apart for a time this summer because it cannot get any worse than it is now.”

Route 11 has been placed on the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) work list for the 2014 road repair season. The section slated for construction encompasses 11 miles north of the Route 302 intersection, which means the upgrades would end at Megquire Hill and White Oak Hill Roads.

The state has funded $2,938,000 for the rehabilitation of the road. That information is available on the document, “The Maine DOT work plan for calendar years 2014–2015–2016.”

According to MDOT Superintendent of Operations Tim Cusick, the initial work will start next month with the real road reconstruction occurring after Independence Day and wrapping up in mid-September.

“The first week of May, we’ll be out there digging. That is work that the MDOT does,” he said.

“We’ve got some pipes to replace. We did some work this fall, but didn’t complete it,” Cusick said.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThe road repair project will go out to bid shortly, he said. The start date is likely mid-July or Aug. 1, he said.

After all the complaints from residents, why did the state decide to embark on the project this year?

According to Cusick, Route 11 was bumped up on the priority list.

“People who travel Route 11 think that road is the worst. It is not the worst,” he said.

“But, we have known for the last couple years that that road has fallen part,” he said.

“Now, it is a high priority to get it fixed,” he said.

No public meetings will be held prior to the work starting because “we aren’t changing the course of the road any,” Cusick said.

Complaining did not get Route 11 on the state’s work list as quickly as a deteriorating state of pavement did. However, the Town of Naples was able to document the reason for its complaints, which led to another two miles being added to the project.

According to Naples Selectman Rick Paraschak, “originally the project was scoped to go from the Poland-Casco line to the Crooked River Bridge, which is the Casco-Naples line.

The town petitioned the state to repair the section of Route 11 that runs through Naples. According to Paraschak, the town sent video documenting bumpy spots in the road. That did the trick.

The project calls for a heavy pavement, he said.

“The asphalt will be ground up, and injected with cement, which strengthens it,” he said.

“The road in front of Hancock Mill — it isn’t real bad. The worst parts will be ground up in the reclamation process,” he said.

The reclamation process is less expensive than tearing up pavement and bringing in new asphalt, he said. Also, there will be less time that drivers are exposed to a dusty gravel road base.

“It’ll still be slow going. Traffic will be backed up, and people will complain,” he said, adding the end result will be worth the wait.

Cusick agreed.

“We’ll be glad when it is done. We plow the road, too,” he said.

 

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