May 23, 2019

Cuts delay Hancock County road work

Plans to repave parts of Route 3 in Trenton and rebuild Route 186 in Gouldsboro were among the road projects put on hold by state officials this week because of an anticipated budget shortfall of $130 million.

Citing increases in construction costs and a decline in federal funds, the Department of Transportation this week announced it would defer one-fifth of all the road, bridge and trail projects throughout the state.

Gov. John Baldacci has appointed a bipartisan task force of legislators, transportation officials and municipal representatives to consider ways to make up for the funding shortage.

Heading up the task force is State Sen. Dennis Damon, D-Trenton, chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. The group is expected to work through the holiday season and report their recommendations to the governor and the Transportation Committee in January.

Local projects put on hold include:

. Reconstruction of 1.29 miles of Route 186 in Gouldsboro. The section of road stretches north from the Winter Harbor town line to Route 1. The design phase remains, but the construction has been deferred.

. Resurfacing about four miles of Route 3 in Trenton. The state planned to fix a 2.85-mile section of road beginning at Drive Inn Lane and extending east toward Bar Harbor and a 1.34-mile section of road beginning east of Route 204.

. Reconstruction of two miles of Route 15 and Route 176 in Blue Hill. The design phase of the project will remain.

. Upgrades to the signal system at the Route 15 railway crossing in Bucksport.

. Resurfacing a short section of Route 1 in Ellsworth. The affected area begins at Myrick Street and extends eastward about three-quarters of a mile toward Hancock.

. Design and construction of a two-mile shared use path from Ellsworth Falls to High Street. The work was planned as part of the department’s Downeast Trail project.

. Preliminary engineering work for the rebuilding of 8.81 miles of Route 46 in Orland, Bucksport and East Holden. Two sections of the highway will be affected. One begins at Route 1 in Orland and extends 6.40 miles to the north, and the other begins at the Dedham and Holden town line and extends 2.41 miles to the north.

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