Workers from Spencer Group Paving, LLC of Turner fill a trench next to the sidewalk on Congress Street in Rumford on Friday.

RUMFORD — Residents will be asked June 11 to approve a $2.9 million bond to complete construction work in The Island business district next year.

The money is to cover cost overruns in replacing downtown water mains, sewer lines, storm drains and sidewalks last year.

Sargent Corp. of Old Town began the job in April 2018 and was expected finish in December, but had to stop in November due to cold weather. Three-quarters of the work is done.

“Hopefully, they’ll be back next year when we get the funding figured out,” Town Manager Scott Cole told selectmen at Thursday’s meeting. “We couldn’t give them a clear guarantee we had money to pay them.”

The original cost of $5.8 million is now estimated to reach about $8.7 million.

The cost overruns were attributed to project design, unexpected expenses and a large amount of rock that had to be removed, Cole said earlier this year.

Selectmen voted 4-0 last week to take $66,000 from various Public Works accounts to address safety concerns related to the unfinished project. They include filling a trench between the curb and new pavement on Congress Street and smoothing rough sidewalks by Bangor Savings Bank, Key Bank and near Island Housing.

Engineers Nate Gustafson, left, and Travis Noyes of the downtown project’s engineering firm CES Inc. of Brewer, discuss construction repairs at Thursday’s meeting of the Board of Selectmen.

Engineers Nate Gustafson and Travis Noyes of CES Inc. of Brewer said the safety issues developed after the project shut down last fall.

At the May 2 selectmen meeting, Linda Puiia of Rumford said she broke her ankle last month when she slipped into a “trench” between the pavement on Congress Street and the curb.

“I would hate to see an older person get injured,” she said.

Deb Belskis of Mexico told selectmen she twisted her ankle due to the trench.

Last week, workers from Spencer Group Paving, LLC in Turner filled the gap with asphalt.

Gustafson said Sargent officials said they paid for the temporary pavement on Congress Street to get through the winter and are looking for compensation to replace it.

“The bottom line is to make The Island safe and operational, without someone twisting an ankle,” Selectman Peter Chase said.

Other work paid for with the $66,000 includes repairing the cement facade at Bangor Savings Bank, the awning at Hotel Harris and cedar siding on the Perez Building. The tree box at the Carlisle building will be moved because it interferes with the awning there. Traffic and roadway signs will also be set or reset.

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