Night-time construction at troublesome intersection of Route 302, Anglers Road and Whites Bridge Road in North Windham is finally about to begin.

Starting Sunday, May 8, work is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.,Sunday through Thursday, for one to two weeks. During these times, traffic will be reduced to one-way and delays can be expected, said Public Works Director Doug Fortier, but the crew from Gorham-based R. J. Grondin is “working nights to minimize traffic congestion.”

Daytime work, from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., will begin later this month and continue through June while the westbound merge lane is extended.

Work will move off Route 302 by July 1, but will continue with the construction of a public portion of Anglers Road and the installation of new traffic signals.

The project is expected to be completed after Labor Day.

The intersection has been a longtime traffic and safety concern for the town, according to Town Manager Tony Plante.

Anglers Road and Whites Bridge Road are slightly offset, but both intersect with Route 302 within close proximity of each other.

The roughly $1 million construction project will align Anglers and Whites Bridge where they meet on Route 302, creating a standard four-way intersection. The improvements will make the intersection safer and partially alleviate traffic at the intersection, Plante said.

The state Department of Transp0rtation is contributing about $500,000 for the project, the town $400,000, including engineering costs, and the Portland Water District will reimburse the town for roughly $46,000, Plante said.

The project has been in the works for at least 15 years, but was delayed for more than a decade because when it was first discussed, Anglers Road was privately owned, meaning state and federal money could not be used to improve it.

The problem was solved when, about seven years ago, the Windham Economic Development Corp. purchased 10 acres of land across from Whites Bridge Road for $455,500, then transferred a portion of it to the town for the relocation of Anglers Road.

The Anglers Road/Whites Bridge Road realignment project nearly met another delay in its long history earlier this spring, when Susan Duchaine, owner of Gorham-based DDI Construction, filed a lawsuit in Cumberland County Superior Court against the town of Windham.

Duchaine charged that the town violated its bidding laws and the bidding laws of the Maine Department of Transportation when it awarded the road work bid to R. J. Grondin, the second-lowest bidder at $842,980. Duchaine’s DDI Construction was the lowest bidder, at $833,872.

An April court decision ruled against Duchaine. The judge disagreed that the town violated the state and municipal requirements for evaluating bids “and deferred to the town’s evaluation of the bids,” according to Duchaine’s lawyer, Robert Ruesch of Portland-based Verrill Dana.

Ruesch said the remainder of Duchaine’s claims in the lawsuit, which include breach of contract, are still under evaluation.

Town attorney Stephen Langsdorf, of Preti Flaherty, could not be reached prior to the Lakes Regional Weekly’s deadline.

Previously, Langsdorf said the town has the “right to evaluate and choose” among bids, in accordance with the town’s documents and policies. The town may choose the bid that works in the town’s best interest on a number of factors, and not only based on the cost of the bid.

An R. J. Grondin construction crew prepares Monday to continue night-time work on Route 302, which will run from 6 p.m.-6 a.m. until May 23. The project will eventually align Anglers Road with Whites Bridge Road, creating a four-way intersection. 

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