Phase 1: The portion of Main Street marked in red on the map will be closed. (The red mark at Vallee Square is not construction-related.) The yellow arrows depict where traffic will be allowed. Contributed / City of Westbrook

Westbrook residents and commuters can expect major downtown traffic disruptions starting next week and lasting for about six months.

Construction at Westbrook Common will be responsible for the first of the summer’s three big detours. Main Street between Bridge and Mechanic streets will be closed starting on or around June 6 for an expected three to four weeks.

Work to replace utility infrastructure under the common, some of which is more than 100 years old, involves digging trenches 20 feet deep, City Planner Jennie Franceschi said at a public information meeting last week. Paired with unstable soil, the work makes it unsafe for cars to travel near the site, even if only one lane is open, she said.

The temporary parking lot at Saccarappa Park will remain open, she said. “There will be a cordoned off area to come in and out of parking through construction.”

Phase 2: The red marks on this map show the closure of Mechanic Street. Contributed / City of Westbrook

When that portion of Main Street reopens, Mechanic Street between Main Street and William Clarke Drive will close for three to four weeks for delivery of construction materials and work on the parking garage at the Vertical Harvest complex.

When Mechanic Street reopens, one westbound lane of William Clarke Drive will be closed for about six months while the Vertical Harvest and parking garage project is built out, Franceschi said.


Phase 3: A westbound lane on William Clarke Drive, marked in red, will be closed. Contributed / City of Westbrook

The city has launched a campaign that includes mailings and social media posts to keep residents up to date on closings and openings.  The informational meeting last week with city officials and construction personnel was part of the campaign.

Frog and Turtle co-owner Guy Cote said in a phone interview that while the closures may put some kinks in deliveries to his Vallee Square restaurant, he knows the work is necessary.

From my standpoint, being the trustee for the city on the water district, I know those pipes they are replacing right now are 100 years old. It is good to replace them under a controlled condition rather than an emergency,” Cote said.

He said at the meeting he’d like delivery companies looped in on traffic updates, he said, because big trucks that bring goods to downtown businesses will be impacted.

“These closures will be a big deal but there is no real other way,” Cote said. “There is always some growing pains.”

He said the city has done a good job communicating about the closures and that the work is important for Westbrook.


“I think people are looking in the long term and big picture. It’ll bring critical mass downtown,” Cote said.  

Sam Novick, president of Hub Furniture just off Mechanic and Main streets, was also understanding about the disruptions his business faces.

“You don’t want to make it more difficult for (customers) to come shop, but I understand where progress is, there is all the ramifications to fix downtown,” Novick said. “So the only thing as a business person you can hope for is that the city is (really) committed to make sure that during the next few weeks or months they would do everything to make (the store) accessible.”

The phased approach to the closures is designed to bring the fewest disruptions to businesses and traffic, said Economic Development Director Dan Stevenson.

“We are doing the planning for disruptions. Disruptions will happen, but they will be planned for,” Stevenson said at the meeting.

The website will have regular updates on the downtown construction projects, including updates on closures and project timelines, he said.

“That will be the clearinghouse for all information and rumors, but I am also certainly reachable,” Stevenson said. “If there are any questions or concerns you can call me and I can get you the answers you need.”

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