LISBON – Nearly 70 residents turned out for a Maine Department of Transportation hearing Monday night on plans for rebuilding Route 9.

The 3.5-mile project would begin .33 miles north of Route 196 in Lisbon Falls and extend to Webster Corner at the Sabattus town line. The project is in connection with the new turnpike interchange in Sabattus that was completed last year.

Representatives of MDOT said the plan basically follows present alignment.

There are 243 affected Lisbon property owners along the construction area, and in some instances land will be taken at fair market value. There was no indication whether the acquisitions would be land only or some structures.

Representatives of MDOT will meet with all affected property owners in an effort to reach agreement.

Among the concerns were more traffic and the speed limit, with some saying they have problems now getting out of their driveways.

There were just over 4,000 cars a day traveling the road as of June 2004, and projections would place that number at 5,400 by 2012. There are no plans to install traffic lights.

Some were also concerned about the impact of the reconstruction on wells and septic systems, and were told if they are damaged they would be replaced, if necessary. The exception is if they are now in the state right of way.

If property is taken, making the lot nonconforming for setback standards, it would be grandfathered, residents were advised.

Officials said they would study the information before making a final design. They will also address individual property owners’ concerns and will meet with them as needed.

Inquiries regarding the project may be directed to Heath Cowan, Project Manager, Maine Department of Transportation, Urban and Arterial Highway Program, Child Street, 16 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0016, or phone 624-3368.

Presently, MDOT only has money for right of way and engineering costs. If it is funded for 2006, advertising for bids would begin at that time. It is anticipated it would be advertised in 2006 and probably take more than one season to complete. However, this is contingent upon when the project is funded.

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