Gorham is eyeing a future Main Street reconstruction in the village to include new water pipes, as Portland Water District decides next week whether to borrow up to $8 million to upgrade services in several communities.

“The portion specific for Windham-Gorham is $2 million for a pump station near the corner of Wards Hill and Dyer Road,” Michelle Clements, spokeswoman for the water district, said on Tuesday. “This is part of our long-term plan to improve capacity, pressure and fire protection flows in the area.”

The water district plans this year to spend about $5.5 million for water-main projects including ones in Gorham and Westbrook.

According to a legal advertisement, the water district will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 26, in the Jeff P. Nixon Development Center, 225 Douglass St., Portland. Following the hearing, water district trustees will weigh whether to authorize the bonds to finance projects.

In a project set for 2015, the water district plans to install 1,800 feet of new ductile iron water main in Gorham’s Huston Road area to improve water pressure distribution. Clements said the project will run along Huston Road between Dyer and Sebago Lake roads.

“The purpose of this new main will be to improve water pressure along Sebago Lake Road/Barstow Road by tying it into the system,” Clements said.

Water district projects in Westbrook include replacing 1,100 feet of sewer interceptor and 2,200 feet of water main along Brown Street and adjacent areas of River Road and Reserve Street; replacing 1,100 feet of 1880s-vintage water main in connection with the bridge replacement at Main and Bridge streets; replacing 1,500 feet of 1933-vintage, 8-inch water main with a 12-inch pipe on Conant Street from the town line to William Clarke Drive; replacing 1,130 feet of water main on Cloudman Street, Dunn Street, and Cloudman Court; and replace mains on Speirs and Stevens streets.

The water district said construction of its water main replacement projects for this year would run between April 1 and mid November.

For a future project, Gorham officials could ask voters in a referendum this year to borrow $500,000 for its share in a three-way street reconstruction deal in the town’s village. In the project, the town would partner with the Maine Department of Transportation and Portland Water District.

Gorham councilors could hold a public hearing on that town’s Main Street (Route 25) proposal in the near future with the possibility of a referendum coming as early as June. A tar surface tops the street’s old concrete construction that would be removed, if the proposed project gets a green light.

Gorham Town Manager David Cole said in a Town Council workshop meeting on Monday that the project would allow the water district to replace antiquated water pipes in the village.

In the joint operation, the water district in 2016 would replace 5,000 feet of water main under Gorham’s downtown thoroughfare. Clements said its village water main replacement project would cost $1.4 million.

The water district would replace 2,500 feet of 6- and 8-inch cast-iron pipes along State Street between School Street and Husky Drive that leads into the University of Southern Maine campus.

Also, 2,500 feet of 8-inch cast-iron pipe would be replaced on Main Street between School Street and Johnson Road. New ductile pipe would be installed in both projects. Existing water mains in both areas date back to 1895.

Gorham officials could discuss this spring the possibility of burying all infrastructures but the price tag under that scenario would likely run $1 million per mile, according to Monday’s workshop discussion.


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