Tuesday, March 11, 2014
BELGRADE — The state wants to know where all the affected property owners stand on the town’s request that Main Street be reconstructed between the West Road intersection and the bridge over Mill Stream.
reconstruction coming: A van crosses a bridge over Mill Stream as it heads north out of Belgrade Lakes village on Route 27 on Thursday. The bridge is at the northern end of a propsed .38 mile reconstruction project to the village.
Staff photo by Joe Phelan
The state also wants to know how the construction work on the road, which is state Route 27, should be done: spread over one season or two, and performed during the day or at night.
The construction work is not in the near future and has yet to be funded.
To gain answers to the local questions, the state Department of Transportation is holding a public informational hearing at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
“We’re hoping all property owners get a chance to voice their concerns, be heard, and the town can send us a resolve to support the project,” said Daryl Belz, an engineer with the Maine Department of Transportation.
The Transportation Department letter sent to Main Street property owners lists two options: two seasons of night construction or one season of limited daytime work on the 0.38 mile stretch of road that bisects Belgrade Lakes Village and begins at the West Road intersection to the south and ends at the bridge, to the north.
Belz said other options are available. Tuesday’s hearing will be held at the Center for All Seasons on Route 27, a little less than half a mile south of where the road work would start.
Timing of the construction work is critical to business and property owners in the village, which is on an isthmus between Long Pond and Great Pond and attracts thousands of summer visitors.
Notices about the hearing and the options have been sent to 44 property owners, and residents have stopped in at the Town Office to view preliminary drawings or get details of the proposal.
Joe and Rhonda Adlam, who own The 1830 House on Long Pond, would find their business and home directly affected by the construction.
Joe Adlam said he recognizes the need for the road work but is not attracted to the construction options offered.
“Either way, there’s going to be some pain,” Adlam said on Thursday. “I’m really worried about the overall charm of Belgrade Lakes.”
He has concerns about cost and sleep — his bedroom is on the road side of the house — and the longterm effect on the town’s businesses, particularly the real estate brokers who rent hundreds of camps to visitors each year.
“Will people decide not to come back?” he asked.
He said he would favor a compromise that is “least disruptive and where the citizenry is not socked with a huge bill down the road.
“I think everybody can work together and come up with a compromise,” he said.
Dick Tripp, who has lived in the village for more than 40 years, is looking closely at the conceptual plan details as well.
“Certainly as a resident right here in the downtown area as it were, I will be affected by whatever is done,” he said Thursday. Tripp said he’s talked to a number of other residents and business owners about the listed options.
“I would like to have them consider a third option that would extend the construction-free period from Memorial Day to Labor Day,” he said. “That would benefit the business people as much as anyone.”
He said work could begin as soon as the construction season allows, then be suspended until after Labor Day. He also suggested extending the construction day itself.
Belz said there is no money budgeted for construction yet. Preliminary planning work produced construction estimates of about $1.75 million. Federal and state money would cover the full-depth road reconstruction, and the cost for any local options, and the town would pay 20 percent of the cost for any elements, including new sidewalks and parking.