“We’re installing a new traffic signal at the entrance of the new mill,” City Engineer Frank Higgins told city councilors on Tuesday. “We’re not going to widen South Main Street, but we are going to restripe it.”
The entrance will have “a fairly short dedicated turn lane” on the right into the Cianbro site, and a “straight shot” traffic lane for those going south toward Orrington, he said.
Three parking spots in front of Pepino’s Taco Stand, at 513 South Main St., will remain and the sidewalk in front of the restaurant and Cianbro will be reduced to make room for the changes.
“In order to provide those three spaces, we’re acquiring properties from Old Mill Redevelopment,” Higgins said.
Old Mill Redevelopment LLC and South Brewer Redevelopment LLC are limited liability companies the city formed to take ownership of the defunct Eastern Fine Paper Co. mill site to protect Brewer from liability.
Cianbro is in the process of changing the mill property into a building module manufacturing facility that will employ more than 500 skilled workers.
“The city has bent over backward to provide parking for [Taco Stand owner] Mr. [Norris] Bryant,” Higgins said. “I think we’ve struck a good balance.”
Across the street at Ron’s Intown Cafe, parking will be eliminated in the front of the restaurant.
“There is just no way” to accommodate any parking there, Higgins said.
Both Ron’s and the Taco Stand have off-street parking beside their buildings.
The funds for the construction project are part of two Brewer earmarks, totaling $3.55 million, tied to the 2005 federal transportation bill that were sponsored by Maine’s congressional leadership.
U.S. Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins spearheaded one earmark, totaling $1.75 million, on the Senate side for improving the entrance into the old mill site, and U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud sponsored the other $1.8 million earmark in the House.
The House earmark is open-ended and doesn’t list specific projects, but must be used for transportation improvements associated with the city’s waterfront. An earmark is a special request outside the normal funding process.
Requests for bids to do the roadwork are expected to be issued in May with construction beginning in June. Traffic detours are not expected, and the project has a September completion date.
A copyright story from the Bangor Daily News, April 10, 2008.