News Release for May 18, 2010

For more Information:
Paul Merrill, Public Information Officer - 207-624-3355 or 207-215-9297
Meg Lane, MaineDOT Communications Project Manager - 624-3030


Road Reconstruction Kicks into High Gear on Route 1A in Ellsworth

An $18 million highway reconstruction project, under way along a seven‐mile stretch of Route 1A in Ellsworth, will make the road safer and move traffic more efficiently along the busy corridor.

The project, which will upgrade the road to current National Highway System Standards, includes the removal of existing pavement, grading and then repaving the roadway with 12‐foot travel lanes and eight‐foot shoulders designed to last 20 years. Crews are expected to complete the project by the summer of 2011.

“Route 1A through Ellsworth is one of several key routes for tourists and residents going to and from the popular Down East and Acadia Regions,” noted MaineDOT Commissioner David Cole. “These necessary improvements will make this deteriorating highway wider, safer and smoother for years to come.”

In order to keep both residents and visitors informed about the project, there will be an extensive public outreach campaign designed to reach tourists, commuters and residents. In addition to radio spots and print ads, MaineDOT is working with the city of Ellsworth, and the Ellsworth and Bar Harbor Chambers of Commerce to inform people about the project and possible alternate routes. In order to lessen the impacts on motorists, crews will be working two 12‐hour shifts.

Generally, work will begin 7 p.m. Sundays and will continue through 7 a.m. Saturdays although weather or other delays could change the schedule on occasion. Also, there will be two weekends between July 15th and October 15th when all traffic will be re‐routed onto Red Bridge Road.

During the day, two‐way traffic will be maintained and flaggers will be present in order to minimize congestion. However, due to the extensive econstruction, delays may occur especially during peak commuting times for residents going to work. In addition, there will be approximately 30 blasting events during the course of the project. This will create temporary road closures (15‐30 minutes) at the blasting locations. These will all be done during daylight hours and will be announced in advance through variable message signs and the project website.

Motorists should drive with caution through this work zone since workers may be close to traffic and may be there at any time of day or night. MaineDOT urges drivers to plan ahead and choose the route that best fits their travel or business plans.

Project updates and travel alerts will be available on the MaineDOT Web site, where anyone can sign up for email alerts. Lane Construction and the Sargent Corporation are contractors on the project which is funded by the Federal American Reconstruction and Recovery Act.