April 05, 2020

Madawaska mulls 11th Avenue reconstruction

MADAWASKA — Reconstruction of a three-quarter-mile section of a municipal street will cost about $700,000, but it could escalate to nearly $1 million if residents get everything they want.

The reconstruction of 11th Avenue is needed to eradicate traffic safety problems brought on by increased traffic since the construction of the Madawaska Elementary School on the street two years ago.

The project includes the street from St. Thomas Street to Three Barn Road, near the elementary school. Engineers have estimated the cost of the project at $696,000.

The project includes widening of the street, repairs and reconstruction to water, sewer and storm drain lines, the shaving of hills and filling in as much of a deep dip in the road as possible. The project will also remove some blind spots on the road.

Town Manager Arthur Faucher said there was an “excellent turnout of area residents” at a meeting on the project Wednesday night.

Faucher said one problem is the town’s rights of way, which vary from 33 to 49 feet. The town will have to buy some property; owners, according to Faucher, are willing to sell.

One option raised by an area resident was to drastically widen the lower section of the street. To widen the section, the town would have to buy five properties, between St. Thomas Street and Acadia Street.

That’s what could raise the price of the project closer to $1 million, said Faucher.

Land south of that section is already owned by the town. Several recreation areas are located on the east side of 11th Avenue.

Residents, according to Faucher, said a wider street and larger mouths at intersections, would make it safer for school buses.

Very few people, said Faucher, wanted sidewalks along the reconstructed area. Sidewalks would have made width problems even more serious, said Faucher. Sidewalks would have caused more encroachment on private property.

The biggest problem, said Faucher, is the filling in of a deep dip in the present roadway near Levesque Street. Engineers hope to elevate the roadway there by about six feet. Any further elevation could cause encroachment on the first property located on Levesque Street. Further elevation would also increase the road grade at the intersection of 11th Avenue and Levesque Street.

Faucher said the project will also look to separate water from roof drains in the area. The drains now empty into the town’s sewer lines. The separation would divert the water into municipal storm drains.

Faucher said it is hoped the project could be started in 1998. At the present time, he hopes to open bids in April. That would give municipal officials figures to bring to voters at the annual town meeting in June.

In other business this week, Madawaska selectmen agreed to cut holes in the ice of Long Lake Saturday to get depth readings at sites proposed for the construction on a boat landing on the east side of the lake.

Four sites will be looked at, said Faucher. Borings and depth readings will be done at two spots, 50 and 100 feet from shore, at each location.

Faucher said all proposed sites at Cyr Cove, on the north end of Long Lake, have been removed from consideration. Faucher said they were to close to an existing boat landing site in St. Agatha.

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