Road redo options weighed

MOUNT DESERT — Voters at town meeting next spring will be asked if they want the town to share with the state the cost of repaving about 2.2 miles of Route 198 between Eagle Lake Road (Route 233) and Parkman Mountain.

The town’s share would be roughly half of the estimated cost of $1.41 million or $1.99 million, depending on which of two paving options is chosen.

The Maine Department of Transportation (DOT) has been planning to give that section of road, which is in poor condition, a “light surface treatment,” also known as “skinny mix,” next year, according to Tony Smith, the town’s public works director. He said DOT officials have told him that would be done “to hold the pieces of the road together.”

But he and the DOT are now considering more substantial fixes that might be paid for in part through a DOT cost-sharing program called the Municipal Partnership Initiative (MPI).

With the more expensive paving option, the existing pavement would be ground up and left in place, then graded, compacted and paved over. Smith said that option would give the best long-term results.

With the less expensive option, Smith said, the existing roadway would be paved over.

Both options would include drainage improvements and construction of 5-foot shoulders on both sides of the road.

Smith said in a memo to Town Manager Durlin Lunt that the selectmen’s commitment to place the cost-sharing proposal on the town meeting warrant could be contingent on the town being approved for the MPI grant.

He said the commitment also could be contingent on “the willingness of the DOT to work with us towards a project scope that will be in the best practical and financial interests of both parties and the actual project cost-share formula agreed to between the town and the DOT.”

He added that the town is probably more likely to receive the grant if it agrees to bear 55 percent of the cost, for example, instead of just 50 percent.

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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