Work plan for state bridge and road projects in Lewiston unveiled
Sen. Nate Libby, D-Lewiston, announced the details of Maine’s three-year transportation infrastructure work plan, and what it means for the Lewiston area and the State of Maine. The plan is released annually with an outline of the Maine Department of Transportation’s strategy for road, bridge and other transportation projects throughout the state.
“Safe, reliable and efficient transportation infrastructure is vital for absolutely everyone living, visiting, or working in Maine,” said Sen. Libby. “I’m glad to see Lewiston remains a priority in MDOT’s work plan. I am concerned, however, by the relative lack of investment in public transportation and pedestrian safety. I will be working with the Mills administration to ensure increased investments in these areas in the coming years.”
In the 2015-2016 Legislative Session, Sen. Libby worked with the Lewiston legislative delegation to secure state funding for planning passenger rail service to Lewiston. Last year, listening sessions were held by the Maine Department of Transportation, the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority and the cities of Lewiston and Auburn to solicit feedback from residents about how they travel today as well as whether they would use an expanded passenger rail service. Information from the listening sessions was included in the first part of the report from that bill, which is available here: http://bit.ly/railstudypart1. Part 2 is expected to be completed in April.
Sen. Libby has also been active in working to improve pedestrian safety in Maine. 2017 was the deadliest year for pedestrians in Maine, with 20 deaths by year end, including Lewiston Middle School student Jayden Cho-Sargent, who was killed by a vehicle on his way to school. In the wake of Cho-Sargent’s death, Sen. Libby introduced legislation to increase funds available to municipalities to implement critical capital improvement projects for pedestrian safety. In a party-line vote, Senate Republicans opposed the bill, and it did not advance. Sen. Libby has introduced a similar bill this year.
According to the MDOT, the work plan includes more than $2.44 billion worth of construction and maintenance, which includes more than 1,900 work items. The three-year plan estimates MDOT will invest in 199 miles of highway construction and rehabilitation; 1,142 miles of pavement preservation; 1,800 miles of light capital paving for roads and highways; 203 spot and safety improvements; and 203 bridge projects.
The following breakdown is the planned capital and maintenance work in Lewiston in 2019:
- Work on East Avenue starting from Montello Street and going southwest 0.60 miles
- Bridge culvert rehabilitation work on Hart Brook Bridge over Hart Brook on Pleasant Street
- Bridge joint replacement on Vietnam Memorial East Bridge over the Androscoggin River on the Vietnam Vet Connector
- Bridge joint replacement on the Vietnam Memorial West Bridge over the west channel of the Androscoggin River on the Vietnam Vet Connector
- Work on East Avenue from Fairlawn Avenue to Homefield Street
- Work on River Road from Mount Hope Avenue to Razel Way
Rail operational improvements:
- Upgrades to the Pan Am Mainline from Yarmouth to Waterville