PARIS – What some call the worst stretch of road in western Maine is finally going to be fixed.

Drainage work began this week on a major reconstruction of Streaked Mountain Road between Paris and Buckfield. The $5.2 million project, being done by BridgeCorp of Augusta, will erase the cracked pavement, frost heaves and wheel rutting that have made the 9.5-mile trip over Streaked Mountain a bumpy one.

BridgeCorp plans to concentrate this fall on installing cross-pipes to carry runoff from one side of the road to the other, said Dale Carlton, project manager for the Maine Department of Transportation.

Weather permitting, BridgeCorp will do some paving this fall, Carlton said. Drivers can expect to encounter construction crews for the rest of this construction season and next year’s as well, he said. The highway carries around 3,000 vehicles a day, including a lot of heavy trucks.

Some areas along the stretch will receive extra attention. There’ll be some areas that require more base material, and others where hills or dips will be leveled to improve sight distance “and provide a better ride,” Carlton said.

“We’ll be taking several different approaches depending on what’s needed” in a given location, he said.

Carlton said the steep grades on either side of the mountain make the project a challenging one. There will be extra-wide shoulders on either side to allow cars to pass to the right of slower-moving truck traffic.

The project is expected to be completed by mid-November of 2005. About five miles of the project is in Buckfield, with the rest in Paris.


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