LINCOLNVILLE — The Maine Department of Transportation has plans to rebuild a section of Route 1 in Camden, close to the Lincolnville town line, but both towns may want more of a say in the design. Camden selectmen are traveling to Lincolnville Monday evening to meet with their counterparts to talk about project plans to date.
The joint workshop begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Lincolnville Town Office, with an agenda that includes a review of Route 1 projects over the past 30 years and goals, a discussion of “items of mutual concern regarding Route 1” and “discussion of other possible items of mutual concern.”
Lincolnville requested a meeting with Camden’s Select Board last October, after Lincolnville selectmen discussed the DOT’s proposed 2017 project to rebuild a 1.54-mile stretch of Route 1 north of Camden toward the Lincolnville town line.
“We have been informed by our Route 1 Advisory Committee that the DOT is planning to reconstruct Route 1 from just north of the entrance to Camden Hills State Park through to the Camden/Lincolnville town line,” Lincolnville told Camden, in a letter. “Over the last several years we too have had preliminary discussion with the DOT about the future reconstruction of Route 1 from the Camden/Lincolnville town line to the beach area and the roadway north of the beach area through to the Lincolnville/Northport town line.”
The project includes raising the notorious Spring Brook Hill bridge where crashes frequently occur in the colder months (according to DOT meeting minutes, there were 16 crashes alone in that section of the road in two years).
Because the highway has long been on the minds of local committees, especially in Lincolnville, selectmen there want to meet with their Camden counterparts to talk about it.
The proposed design entails reconfiguring slopes and roadbed, clearing trees so sun can dry the highway in the winter, and filling and raising bridges, in some spots by at least seven feet.
There are plans for creating an 11-foot travel lane with four-feet-wide paved shoulders on either side.
“It’s a good design,” DOT Project Manager Ernie Martin, who is part of the DOT’s Midcoast office, told Penobscot Bay Pilot, last fall. “It’s fully funded and it can get constructed.”
He said in October that he anticipated a 2017 start date for the $4.4 million project. The $1.5 million replacement of the Spring Brook bridge and the $700,000 replacement of the Great Brook Bridge will be done at the same time as the highway rebuild.
The DOT convened a public meeting March 18, 2015, at the Camden Town Office to talk about the project (See attached PDF).
With the design and the preliminary design report just about finished, the next steps for the DOT involve researching who the abutting landowners are, the value of properties close to the highway, identifying rights-of-ways, titles, and determining how to negotiate with those landowners either outright compensation for highway construction, or temporary construction compensation.
Lincolnville has been anticipating the rebuild of its stretch of Route 1 south of the Beach for several years.
The DOT, aka, the State of Maine, owns four rods — or 66 feet — of width that the highway occupies as it passes through communities.
The DOT’s Work Plan outlines the project as beginning .56 miles north of the Sagamore Farm Road, and continuing for 1.54 miles.
The highway passes through Camden and Lincolnville residential and mixed-use zones, dotted with homes, a few farms, many lodging establishments, and parts of the Camden Hills State Park.
Martin said much water runs down from the hills, and the road is to be improved, in part, to better control drainage and slippery conditions. Bridges over Spring and Great brooks are to get raised and rebuilt.
“Hopefully, this will address a lot of the accidents,” he said.
Martin said the DOT will be holding a public hearing on the rebuild in early 2016. Route 1 is part of the national highway corridor system, but falls under DOT jurisdiction for maintenance.
As for bike lanes and pedestrian pathways, Martin said in October that he would have hoped those ideas would “have already been brought forth, since we are deep in the design.”