A multi-million dollar project will give busy Route 1A a major face-lift.
"We're going to have new storm water facilities under the road," said Hampden Town Manager Jim Chandler. "Shoulders are going to be wider. There's going to be a grass strip on the one north side of the road or south side of the road depending on how you look at it."
Construction will start at the corner of Western Avenue and Route 1A and go all the way to Mountainview Drive, a 1.73-mile stretch.
The project was scoped by the Maine DOT and they're now looking for contractor bids this month. Shovels are expected to hit the dirt in May, which is when drivers can start expecting traffic delays.
"We try to mitigate that as much as possible, but it's going to happen if we're going to be doing a big project like this, so we hope that the people understand that and be patient as they deal with that inconvenience, because we think things are going to be better in the long run for this project getting done," said Maine DOT Public Information Officer Paul Merrill.
Along with new sidewalks and a repaved road, the project will replace the Grist Mill Bridge across the Souadabscook Stream. According to Rhobe Moulton, the Senior Project Manager for Maine DOT, road work will be completed by the fall of 2020, but the contractor will have the option to work on the area near the bridge until June of 2021.
"The money is generally a federally funded project through BACTS, through the town, so there's an 80-10-10 split," said Chandler.
Maine DOT will pay for that 80 percent, with the other 20 coming from federal funds and taxpayer dollars. According to Chandler, the price tag for Hampden comes to about 1 million dollars. The town will also pay for the sewer and water upgrades on its own.