LIVERMORE FALLS – The state transportation department plans to tear down a former gas station and store at the intersection of Bridge and Main streets – routes 4 and 17 – the first week of September.

It is an early acquisition to prepare for road improvement work anticipated to begin in late 2008, if the Department of Transportation gets funding needed to reconstruct 1.1 miles from the beginning of Bridge Street to Pineau Street in Jay, Bob Watson, DOT assistant program manager of the Highway Program, said Tuesday.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $4.3 million, he said.

Right now the state has funding for preliminary engineering and right-of-way work, which includes removal of the vacant station and store.

The plan, once the whole project is funded, is to widen the 90-degree corner at the intersection across from Cumberland Farms to increase the turning radius for large trucks.

The funding for the project will be requested in the DOT’s 2008-09 work plan, Watson said.

If it is approved, the state will advertise for bids for the road construction in September 2008 with a completion date for the project slated for October 2009.

Among improvements to the road will be upgrading the storm water drainage system.

The state also plans to change where the crosswalks are located on the road to bring them up to the DOT’s standard of having them placed 500 feet apart where they’re deemed needed, state traffic engineer, Brian Keezer said Tuesday.

Livermore Falls Town Manager Martin Puckett informed the selectmen of the upcoming changes Monday night.

The crosswalks are too close together and some will be removed, he said.

Puckett said the Bridge Street crosswalk would be relocated because the wider turning span will create too wide of a walk across the street for pedestrians.

Both Puckett and Keezer said that crosswalk could be moved down closer to the bridge over the Androscoggin River and would coincide with a river walk planned for the area.

Puckett also said the state would hold a hearing on the proposed changes to the crosswalks before they are changed.

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