NORWAY — Norway is halfway through the lengthy replacement of its rambling, circa 1940s complex of highway department buildings with a new, modernized public works garage.

Construction crews work on Norway’s new town garage roof. H.E. Callahan Construction Co. is the general contractor. Supplied photo

Androscoggin Bank is financing the construction phase and the town has tapped the federal Rural Development agency for its long-term financing. When the $3.3 million project is complete, Norway will be responsible for about $265,000 of the cost; Rural Development will pay off the rest of the construction loan and finance $3 million. Payments will start one year following completion and continue for 29 years. The interest rate is capped at 3.5%. Norway Town Manager Dennis Lajoie expects that in six months, when the garage is ready for occupancy, mortgage rates will be below that.

The new garage will allow for the dump bodies on the plow trucks to be lifted all the way up. There will also be a crane to hydraulically remove and install the large plows and wings for maintenance and repair.

“We have nine trucks that sit outside now,” Lajoie said. “The last big snowstorm we had, two of our trucks broke down. If we take them in the current building, we can’t lift them all the way up. Of course the things that had to be fixed were underneath and the mechanics could not raise the trucks to get to the repairs.

“Now they’re doing it…however they’re able to do it,” Lajoie said.

There will be enough room in the garage to park the town’s nine dump trucks, a change that Lajoie expects will increase their service life by at least three years. It will include an extra bay that crews can pull the trucks into after storms and wash them thoroughly.

The south side of the new highway department garage in Norway. The far right bay will be dedicated to washing town-owned vehicles and equipment, work that has always been done outside year-round. Supplied photo

“We’ll be able to get the salt and all that off of them,” he explained. “Right now they have to hose them down, outside, while it’s freezing. The fire trucks, police vehicles, those will be washed inside too.”

The project was started in September and is scheduled to be done this May. The old garage will then be torn down to make way for the construction of a new waste water facility, which is slated to happen in spring of 2022. Currently the wastewater department is sharing space with the highway department in its small garage.

Other small outbuildings will be taken down as well as part of the overall plans to update the site.

The new building will have offices, restrooms and an employee break and locker room with a utility mezzanine above them. A mechanics’ bay will be in the center where the hydraulic crane is being installed. That section of the garage will have radiant heat.

A central wall will be added to separate the heated work area from the parking bays. The total building measures 90′ x 220′.

The first phase of Norway’s highway department construction was a salt and sand shed, erected last year. Supplied photo

A sand and salt shed was constructed last spring in the first phase of the site project, at a cost of about $35,000.

By building the new garage on its existing site Norway was able to save the clearing and excavation expenses of moving to a new location, as well as utilize its already established water and sewer lines. The Recreation and Cemetery Departments, which work closely with public works have already been relocated to the property.

 

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