Tony Smith, Mount Desert public works director. Smith explained that Route 198 was repaved by the DOT despite plans to rebuild the road in the future because the "skinny mix" will"hold the pieces together" till the rebuilding project gets underway in spring. ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

State paves road ready for a redo



MOUNT DESERT — Voters at the annual town meeting here last month authorized the town to issue a bond of up to $500,000 to split with the state the cost of rebuilding about a mile of Route 198 from the Giant Slide Trailhead to just north of the Parkman Mountain parking lot.

The work was to have been done this fall.

Given that, some have asked why the Maine Department of Transportation (DOT) earlier this month went to the trouble and expense of having a thin layer of asphalt, often called a “skinny mix,” applied to that section of the road.

Mount Desert Public Works Director Tony Smith said the short answer is that, because the DOT “is having trouble sorting out their own funding,” the road reconstruction project probably won’t be done until next spring.

He said the application of skinny mix is “basically to hold the pieces together so they can do real work later on down the road.”

Skinny mix has been applied to Route 198 from the Eagle Lake Road intersection to about a quarter-mile north of the Parkman Mountain parking lot, a distance of 2.1 miles. While roughly the southern half of that stretch of road is now likely to be rebuilt next spring, it is anticipated that voters at town meeting next May will be asked to authorize the town to borrow another $500,000 for its share of rebuilding the northern half.

The application of skinny mix to 2.1 miles of Route 198 this month is part of a 9.5-mile light repaving project for which the state is paying Lane Construction Corporation $497,000. The paving contract also covers .8 miles of Route 198 between Asticou Gardens and Summit Road in Northeast Harbor and four miles of Routes 3/198 between Asticou Gardens and Upper Dunbar Road in Seal Harbor. Also included are 2.6 miles of Atlantic Road on Swans Island between the ferry terminal and a point a half-mile south of Minturn Road.