Tony Smith, director of the Public Works Department in Mount Desert, worked with a citizen committee to make changes that will reduce the cost of the Main Street Northeast Harbor improvement project. ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

Main Street project gets OK for $3.96M



MOUNT DESERT — Voters at town meeting in May will be asked to authorize spending a total of $3.96 million on the Main Street Northeast Harbor improvement project.

The Board of Selectmen voted Monday night to award the construction contract to R.F. Jordan & Sons of Ellsworth, pending town meeting approval of funding for the project.

Jordan, one of three bidders, submitted a low bid of $2.45 million for the construction work. Installing underground utilities will cost another $975,000. Based on Jordan’s bid, the cost of project administration, inspection and contingencies would add another $879,420.

However, a citizen committee that has been working with Public Works Director Tony Smith on planning the project agreed last week to a few changes that will reduce the overall cost from $4.31 million to the $3.96 million that the selectmen approved. Jordan’s construction contract will be for $2.19 million.

One of the changes is the elimination, at least for now, of one of two tiny “pop-out” parks on the west side of Main Street. That will save $104,400. Eliminating the installation of architectural pavers at the Sea Street intersection will save $81,500.

“The architects offered that they could live without that,” Smith told the selectmen.

He said every element of the project has been carefully scrutinized by the citizen committee at multiple meetings.

“It was interesting to watch the dynamics at times,” he said. “Not everyone got what they wanted every time. But at the end of the day, there was a general consensus that this is what we wanted.”

Smith said in a memo that accompanied his recommendations that the committee had worked to come up with “an aesthetically pleasing, functional project with an improved infrastructure that would assist with improving the economic situation of Main Street in Northeast Harbor … .”

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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