Tuesday the voters of Southwest Harbor approved the borrowing of up to $2 million for the reconstruction of Main St. from Seal Cove Corner to Wesley Ave. The Selectmen and the Town's engineers. Olver Associates will now begin to take a very close look at the schedule for implementing that project.
MANY OF THE BUSINESSES ALONG MAIN ST. WILL BE CONCERNED ABOUT THE DETAILS OF THIS SCHEDULE!
I have spoken to a number of business owners and attended a recent public hearing of the Board of Selectmen, with Olver Associates present to hear more about the plan. At that hearing the Selectmen and the engineers heard some of the public's concerns.
The engineers are estimating the entire project will take eight (8) months to complete. Their original idea was to begin this fall after Labor Day with a stop before Thanksgiving, recommence in the spring with a stop by Memorial Day and finish the following fall. It has been suggested that, September and October being a busier time for tourism than June that two springs and a fall would suit businesses better than two falls and a spring. Also, some businesses suggested that beginning the project in town and proceeding north would be better than the opposite.
As a consequence, there is some talk of getting permission from MDOT to extend the project into December with the view to getting it done in one spring and one fall. There is a preference for completing the final paving during warm weather which makes this schedule more attractive, though if the project were to extend beyond the third week of June, this could substantially harm the Main St. businesses.
It is in all our interests to pay close attention as the plans for this project develop! I will be attending Selectmen's meetings and public hearings to stay on top of what is going on and to represent the Chamber generally, but it will take more than my efforts alone to make our concerns heard.
I would very much like to hear from each of you about your concerns and your views on the best way to proceed. If you can speak to your Selectmen individually and attend some of the meetings and public hearings this would be terrific!
No one has questioned the need for this project to go forward - some of the inroad infrastructure is over 100 years old - but the timing and changes to traffic patterns in addition to the noise and congestion, matters.
Let me hear from you, talk to your neighbors, attend a few meetings. Would any of you like to be included on an e-mail list to be kept abreast of events as they develop? If so, e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at home: 244-9687.
I have an electronic copy from Olver Associates of the April 9 meeting, Project Overview Report if anyone would like a copy. (It is too large form me to post.)