Following Columbus Day weekend, the Maine Department of Transportation will close the Bath viaduct.

The short — yet busy — section of Route 1 is estimated to be closed until Memorial Day 2017 as it undergoes major reconstruction. According to MDOT, the $12 million project is designed to last for 100 years. Reed & Reed Construction of Woolwich has been contracted for the reconstruction, which will take place day and night, every day of the week until completed.

During the day, northbound traffic will be diverted off of Route 1 onto Commercial Street and southbound traffic off of the Sagadahoc Bridge will be diverted onto Leeman Highway. While most intersections under the viaduct will be closed off, Washington Street will remain open to allow vehicles to and from the downtown.

Residents and travelers are encouraged to check MDOT’s website regularly for changes. Occasionally, traffic will be diverted further out from the viaduct at night through the downtown.

“During certain periods of the construction, the detour will need to shift into the downtown and onto Centre Street, but that’s only in the evenings, at night and during certain portions of the construction cycle,” said Andrew Deci, director of planning and development for Bath.

The project was schedule for winter months to avoid heavy tourist traffic, but MDOT has warned regular commuters and residents of the Bath area to be prepared for delays in their travel plans. Motorists will still have access to historic downtown Bath throughout the closure.

“Those in the immediate area should expect noise, vibration, dust and truck traffic at any time,” states a mailer sent out by MDOT.

“Traffic generally — it’s going to be different than it is today, and it’s not going to be convenient,” said Deci. “But this is the least impactful time to do it and we have to do it.”

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Viaduct vitals

THE $12 MILLION Bath viaduct project is designed to last for 100 years and is being done by Reed & Reed Construction of Woolwich.

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