Crews work around existing utilities Tuesday as they upgrade infrastructure for downtown water and sewer. Complicated utility work means an additional two weeks of Main Street closures. Chance Viles / American Journal

Westbrook residents can expect at least two more weeks of work and traffic disruptions on downtown Main Street.

Portions of Main Street have been closed since the beginning of the month, but construction was expected to be wrapped up by the month’s end.

However, the complexity of underground utilities has prolonged the work period until mid-July, according to Economic Development Director Dan Stevenson.

Some of the overlapping underground infrastructure, including wrapped pipes, carry gas and water to downtown business and require proceeding with caution. Chance Viles / American Journal

Some of the old utility infrastructure being replaced overlaps, seemingly with no rhyme or reason, said Chris Simmons, construction manager for Wright Ryan, which is conducting the work. He attributes that to different companies working on the utilities over different years, with some of the structures so old they were positioned by hand.

The complex mishmash needs to be handled with care, and that’s why the project will take a few more weeks to complete.

We can’t just cut service, so if we come up on a provider we engage that utility and we have to work through their process, follow code, regulations,” Simmons said. “We are going as fast as we can safely move forward with the project.”


Stevenson said the Main Street closures now may overlap with the closure of Mechanic Street, slated for July.

The Main Street work is being done in conjunction with updates to the Westbrook Common, but the utility work will also allow more growth in that whole area of downtown, Stevenson said.

Work on Mechanic Street is slated to wrap up on time before a lane on William Clarke Drive closes for about six months to allow the Vertical Harvest project to be built.

The temporary parking lot at the Saccarappa Park off of Bridge Street is still open, and traffic downtown can be rerouted around the closed portions.

“This is growth, this will be massive for the city’s future and downtown,” Stevenson said.

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

The work on Main Street runs almost right up to the sidewalk, although there is still a pathway for pedestrians. Parking is available at the temporary lot at Saccarappa Park. Chance Viles / American Journal

Some of the underground utilities were laid many years ago. Chance Viles / American Journal


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