BETHEL – Selectmen are to open tonight’s meeting with a public hearing on a proposal to remove the Route 35 designation from Vernon Street.

Town Manager Scott Cole stated in a Sept. 19 memo to selectmen that motorists approaching Bethel from all directions are faced with an array of route signs. Several minor changes are to be made before winter, including the Route 35 issue. Cole said that for years, the town of Bethel has been responsible for all capital and operational costs for Vernon Street, but the road still carries a state route designation.

Now, the Maine Department of Transportation is proposing to remove the Route 35 designation from the Albany Town Hall to the route’s terminus on Main Street in Bethel.

Then, Cole said, Route 5 would continue to carry the Route 35 designation from the Albany Town Hall to the Route 2 intersection at the end of Lover’s Lane. Route 35 would ultimately terminate at Route 2.

State transportation officials are also expected to continue ongoing talks regarding safety issues at Parkway and Route 2.

The hearing and the board’s subsequent meeting begin at 7 p.m. Monday in the town office.

Additional agenda topics include reviewing impacts of the Palesky tax cap proposal in Bethel, should it be enacted, discuss a possible reorganization of the Airport Authority board, and respond to the department’s proposed $450,000 reconstruction project for the Sunday River Road.

Cole said that project includes a rebuild of the entire length of Bethel’s 1.3-mile portion of the Sunday River Road, with an 11-foot-wide travel lane and 4-foot-wide shoulders. Bethel’s share of the project is $148,500.


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