Installation of this new traffic light at Route 1 and Exit 17 in Yarmouth is over budget, leaving the town on the hook for nearly $80,000. File

YARMOUTH — Installation of a new traffic light at the intersection of Route 1 and the Interstate 295 northbound off ramp went over budget and now the Town Council is considering the best way to cover the nearly $80,000 funding gap.

A final vote is expected at the March 19 meeting.

Last week Town Manager Nat Tupper suggested the money could come out of the town’s special economic development fund, since some of the intersection improvements were specifically made to accommodate nearby businesses.

On March 5 he said the effort to install the traffic light “has a long and storied history, but it’s now running great.”

This week town engineer Steven Johnson told The Forecaster the project was jointly undertaken by the town, the Maine Department of Transportation and the Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System, with the caveat that Yarmouth would cover any costs incurred beyond a maximum contribution from the state.

As it turned out, he said, “there were several changes required as part of construction and the construction engineering cost as well as the preliminary engineering cost were substantially more than MDOT (originally) estimated.”

Johnson said the project, which began in September 2017, is now complete except for the amount still owed. He said MDOT’s share is just over $296,000 and the town’s share, including all the additional costs, totals nearly $269,000.

Johnson said prior to installation of the traffic light, “during periods of high traffic volume, there were long wait times for turning traffic to access the on-ramp northbound, as well as long wait times for vehicles to exit the off-ramp onto Route 1,” which has now been alleviated.

It took “several years of work” before the town got MDOT to put in a permanent signal, Johnson said.

Comments are not available on this story.