LEWISTON – Painting crews have extended the three-lane portion of Lisbon Street another 3,600 feet closer to downtown, and that should make the road safer according city officials.

The city restriped Lisbon Street in August between the Maine Turnpike bridge over the street to the Lisbon town line, converting the section from a four-lane road to three lanes – a lane in either direction and a turning lane down the middle.

Public Works Director Paul Boudreau said the area under the turnpike bridge became a problem for drivers because it was on curve.

“No matter which lane you were in, it looked like your lane was ending,” Boudreau said Tuesday. “That was just an illusion caused by the curve. So, we thought the best thing to do was to extend the three-lane portion along the straightaway towards downtown.”

Boudreau took the matter before city councilors for their approval Tuesday, but admitted that contractors had already finished painting the new lanes. A Massachusetts firm hired to repaint all of the lines on Lewiston’s roads finished their work early.

“This was the very last part they needed to complete, and they just went ahead and did it,” Boudreau said. “Things for them went more smoothly than they thought, because of the nice weather, and they finished sooner than they expected.”

Councilors said Tuesday they didn’t mind.

“I’ve heard from a lot of people that were skeptical in the beginning, and they’ve all said this was the best thing we could have done,” said City Councilor Renee Bernier. “I haven’t heard one bad thing said about it.”

The city agreed to restripe the portion of Lisbon Street to slow traffic, making it safer for cars turning into area businesses.

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