TREMONT — You’ll still be able to get there from here, but expect delays.
Work to reconstruct a .4-mile stretch of the Tremont Road between the Tremont Consolidated School and the Burnt Hill Road began this week.
According to Glenn Correll of G.F. Johnston and Associates, the contractor, R.F. Jordan & Sons, is currently cutting trees and removing other obstacles from along the road. One-way traffic can be expected in these areas. G.F. Johnston was hired by the town to oversee the project.
After the clearing is completed, ground preparation will begin, Correll said. As of this week, no date had been set for that work to begin. That work is expected to begin at the Burnt Hill Road, he said.
Along with a total rebuild of the road, the project includes construction of a sidewalk along that section as well as a three-foot-wide shoulder which would double as a bike lane. Completion is scheduled for November.
What makes the construction work so frustrating for drivers, especially those who live in Tremont, is that the section under construction is the most direct route between the village of Bass Harbor and the other mainland villages. It provides the quickest access to fuel and groceries and is a vital link to the Bernard Wharf.
Avoiding the construction requires a lengthy detour on the Seal Cove Road, where commercial traffic is prohibited, or an even longer drive to the Somesville Fire Station and back through Southwest Harbor.
Engineers have worked with the contractor to keep delays to a minimum. One-way traffic will be allowed at all times. Work is to be done in 300-foot sections. No work will be done at night, although some weekend work may be required.
The project is being done under a Municipal Partnership Agreement between the town and the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT). Voters at the May 2013 town meeting authorized entering into the agreement.
Under the agreement, the town is to pay the total cost of the road rebuild and contract to have the work done. The MDOT is to reimburse the town a maximum of $360,000 to be paid in three equal installments: when the job is one-third complete, two-thirds complete and at completion.
R.F. Jordan was the low-bidder for the project at $813,890.