NORWAY — In July, there may be six fewer parking spaces on Main Street as town officials try to improve visibility for traffic entering Main Street from Pikes Hill.

The plan, which is being proposed to accommodate the traffic from the new $8.2 million Western Maine Medical office building, includes making a right-turn-only lane from Pikes Hill Road onto Main Street.

A public hearing will be held Thursday, July 2, during the 7 p.m. selectmen meeting to discuss proposed changes to the parking ordinance. One change would eliminate parking on Main Street by the Advertiser-Democrat building and designate the right-turn-only lane.

The plan would allow the Maine Department of Transportation to issue a traffic flow permit for the new medical building that is currently under construction. The building is expected to open in January.

Town Manager David Holt told selectmen recently that four to six spots on Main Street by the Advertiser Democrat would be eliminated. That’s the least restrictive way to provide safe traffic flow once the medical building opens, he said. Other ideas included making the lower section of Pikes Hill one way.

In April, the Planning Board unanimously approved, with conditions, the site plan application for a medical office building downtown. The 25,000-square-foot complex is being built on an eight-acre lot purchased by Western Maine Health about seven years ago. The site is the former C.B. Cummings & Sons wood mill.

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Approval was given with four conditions: a Maine Department of Transportation traffic movement permit must be obtained; a maintenance plan for catch basins and erosion control must be submitted; a sign plan, which will be approved by the code enforcement officer, must also be submitted; and the noise of the roof mechanics must comply with required decibel levels.

The Planning Board had focused its attention on concerns about more traffic at the intersection of Main and Whitman streets and Pikes Hill. MDOT employees have been on site in the past month to determine how to best route the traffic, which is expected to increase significantly once the medical building opens.

As part of the project, the Ripley Medical Building next to Stephens Memorial Hospital on Lower Main Street will undergo a $1.8 million renovation and become the home of Western Maine Pediatrics. The Ripley Medical Building’s other occupants will move to the new building.

The driving force behind the expansion is a growth in outpatient care, Barbara Allen, vice president of community relations, said last year.

Western Maine Health has 12 affiliated medical entities, including Stephens Memorial Hospital.

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