Pavement Pending for Slew of City Streets

Washington Street is among those in the city awaiting a top layer of pavement – a task that will be accomplished as soon as Lane’s finishes their major projects. In the meantime, residents are managing the uneven road by treating it like an obstacle course. (Photo by John Jackson)

By Lura Jackson

 

Several streets in Calais are awaiting a top layer of pavement as a result of contractor Lane Construction’s focus on major projects elsewhere in the county. The Calais Public Works Department has been in steady contact with the pavement management company which has been acting as the middle man between the two parties, and Director Skeet Seelye anticipates the project will be completed in due order.

“Right now, they’re busy with Route 9,” Seelye explained, referencing a 17-mile project that Lane has underway, along with a “big piece” in Topsfield. Seelye said that, according to the pavement management company, Lane is planning to resolve the Calais streets rapidly. “They told him that when they come to town, they’re bringing the Calais crew and the Presque Isle crew, and they’re going to do all the streets that need paving in one day.”

The streets that will be paved include Washington, Whitney, Steamboat, Stillson, and Franklin. Palmer Street will be addressed by a later project.

While Lane wasn’t able to offer a time frame, Seelye is certain it won’t be significantly delayed. “It will definitely be before it gets too cold,” he said.

Washington Street is the busiest of those that need to be addressed. The Public Works crew has prepared the street for paving and installed all of the manhole covers, which now protrude without a buffering top layer of pavement around them. Passing drivers have generally become accustomed to dodging or driving over them. “We haven’t gotten any complaints on anybody damaging their vehicles,” Seelye said. “I think everybody knows that if there’s a bump in the road, go around it.”

The edges of the covers were painted white to increase visibility, but the paint has since worn away. Seelye is adding reflective tape to make them easier to see at night.

 

The uneven pavement at the edges of the street are a separate concern that will be addressed by the addition of the top layer. While the manhole covers and the uneven edges do require extra caution, Seelye notes that the street’s condition has generally improved. “I think it’s smoother than before we started.”