The Haggett Garage on Water Street in Wiscasset. Credit: Abigail W. Adams | Lincoln County News

Demolition of a historic building taken last year by eminent domain will begin Tuesday as the Maine Department of Transportation moves forward with a controversial traffic project in downtown Wiscasset.

Pike Industries, contractors for the MDOT, will salvage the sign on the front of the 103-year-old Haggett Building for preservation, according to a release from the state.

Demolition is expected to be completed by Sept. 9.

The demolition is part of a controversial $6.8 million project to address traffic congestion along Route 1 through Wiscasset.

In November, the town sued the state in an effort to stop the $5 million project. Residents objected to the plan, which in addition to demolishing the historic building, calls for eliminating Main Street parking. Town officials said the state misled voters about two proposals prior to a vote that endorsed the plan and objected to a decision by the MDOT to forego $4 million in federal funding, which allowed the state to skirt historic preservation laws.

But in April, the board of selectmen voted to dismiss the lawsuit.

According to the MDOT, Water Street has already been paved, and granite curbs have been installed, with sidewalks on Railroad Avenue and Water Street expected to be completed soon.

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