Route 127 shoulders to remain as they are

Posted:  Tuesday, February 13, 2018 - 9:45am
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Improvements to Route 127 shoulders won’t be included during repaving of the busy Woolwich thoroughfare this summer.

Road Commissioner Jack Shaw was hopeful the state might reconsider a decision against making the shoulder improvements. On Monday morning, Feb. 12, Shaw along with Selectman Allison Hepler and EMS Director Brian Carlton made their case to two visiting Maine Department of Transportation officials.

“We had a good discussion here in my office. They were more than willing to listen to our concerns but I doubt anything will change,” he told the Wiscasset Newspaper in a phone interview.

“They plan to put a five-eighths skim coating of pavement down over the road surface and that’s pretty much the extent of the work,” said Shaw, who added the meeting lasted about an hour.

“We talked about driving out and showing them some of the areas most in need of attention but decided against this. I think they’re aware of the problems that exist. They agreed to take our concerns to their superiors in Augusta,” Shaw added.

Senior Project Construction Manager Denis Lovely and Project Construction Superintendent Timothy Pelotte represented MDOT at the meeting at Jack A. Shaw & Sons Construction on Old Stage Road.

The select board hoped the state’s scheduled paving of Route 127, also known as Middle Road, would include paving and other improvements on shoulders. Some sections of the road have just two to three feet of shoulder width. The busy 15-mile stretch runs through the center of town from the junction of Route 1 by Cumberland Farms, north to Dresden where it connects with Route 27.

Hepler said the town’s request was in response to residents worried about the road’s safety. Route 127 gets a high volume of commuter traffic on a daily basis.

“Basically, they have no funds for adding paved shoulders. In the next round of work, there’s a possibility of reviewing the status of the road, prioritizing it in light of other needs, and eventually passing it along to the legislature,” she commented.

“They explained that while bridges have become a priority in recent years, roads are slow to catch up in terms of state attention. I really appreciate their making the time to come down and see us,” added Hepler.

She said the road commissioner does a lot with the limited state aid the town receives yearly for road reconstruction.

Route 127 is classified by the state as a secondary road. The road is posted at 45 mph through town except for about a half-mile section from Route 1 where the speed limit is 25 mph.

MDOT also plans to repave 10.16 miles of Route 127 from the Sagadahoc Bridge in Woolwich through Arrowsic to Georgetown.