BAR HARBOR — A group of residents and affected businesses is fundraising to add more lighting along a pedestrian path on Route 3 that will be built as part of the upcoming reconstruction of the road by the Maine Department of Transportation (DOT).
Councilors approved the plan from the self-appointed Gateway Beautification Group last month. The town will accept the gift of up to $500,000 to cover the cost of the lighting project.
“There are not many streetlights out there now,” Dick Cough, representing the Beautification Group and the Village Improvement Association (VIA), told councilors. “If we don’t do this, the large properties [hotels and the College of the Atlantic] along the route will do their own thing, and they won’t look the same.”
The group plans to raise all the necessary funds, including the costs of a lighting consultant to advise them on options and an electrical engineer to draw up plans, but the town would hold the contract. Maintenance of the lights also would be the town’s responsibility.
The group has secured a pledge of $50,000 from the VIA. The Chamber of Commerce, Friends of Acadia, COA, Witham Family Properties and Ocean Properties also are represented in the group.
Property owners along the route are set to receive mitigation fees from the DOT for the state to acquire some property and gain access via easement to other sections. Cough said the group hopes landowners along the walking path route will donate their mitigation fees to the project.
Because the Maine Department of Transportation already has sent the Route 3 project out to bid, the lighting project would be a separate contract with the general contractor chosen for the $18 million rebuild.