MEXICO — Beginning on Monday, July 22, a short section of Route 2 will be closed for a storm drain pipe replacement, necessitating a five-day detour.

Mexico Town Manager Jack Gaudet stands at the intersection of Mitchell Street and Route 2, where a pipe replacement project will require a five-day detour beginning Monday, July 22. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

Wyatt Johnson, an assistant engineer with the Maine Department of Transportation, said the estimated $60,000 project at the intersection with Mitchell Street involves replacing a catch basin on either side of the road, along with a new pipe.

The detour is via Highland Terrace, Harlow Hill Road, Route 17 and back to Route 2.

“We don’t like to do detours if we can avoid them,” Johnson said, “but this is also an established detour route that’s been used before and it’s worked, so we felt pretty comfortable. And there’s enough side roads so local traffic could negotiate it.”

He added that the option of using a detour was preferred to shutting down one lane at a time. “This was the quickest way to do the project, probably save half the time using the detours.”

Johnson said he hoped it will be only five days. The detour has been coordinated with the town and public safety groups.

“As with most construction activities, we are at the mercy of Mother Nature,” he said. “Heavy rains could possibly delay or interrupt the installation of the replacement pipe, but with it being the drier part of the season, we are hoping to avoid any delays.”

Town Manager Jack Gaudet said local people will know how to get around the detour area. However, for many truckers coming down Route 17, “it’s going to be bad enough trying to climb up over Harlow Hill. But if that wasn’t available, it would be difficult.”

He said the cost of the project will be shared, with the town’s p

ortion coming out of the road fund.

Detour signs will be place at the intersections of:

  • Highland Terrace and Route 2 in Mexico;
  • Each end of Veterans Bridge (Mexico and Rumford)
  • Bridge and Franklin streets in Rumford;
  • Lincoln Avenue and Hancock Street in Rumford; and
  • Route 17 and Harlow Hill Road in Mexico.

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