AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Work has begun on a nearly year-long construction project that will completely remake a busy gateway into Maine's capital city.
"There are certainly some segments that are ok, and there are some segments that really need our attention," Shawn Smith, project manager for the Maine Department of Transportation, said about the roughly half mile stretch of Western Avenue that will be rebuilt.
"There are a lot of things going on with the water, sewer, utilities, traffic signal work," added Smith. "It's a pretty complex job."
The workzone runs from the Manchester town line towards the intersection with the Old Winthrop Road. Crews will be widening the road and adding dedicated turn lanes to improve safety and the flow of traffic.
"With the turn lane, you are going to have a lot safer traffic movement in and out of the businesses," stated Smith. "In addition to that, you are going to have a lot of the commuter traffic that has to come in and out in the afternoons, it is going to flow a lot better because you are going to have that turning traffic in its own lane and you are not going to be stopping the lanes that are leading up to it."
Lane closures in the workzone will be timed to keep traffic moving and lessen any impacts on businesses in the area. The DOT says they expect to have the work completed by the end of August next year.