Cars drive down State Street on a rainy December 2020 day in Bangor. Credit: Natalie Williams / BDN

Traffic will be rerouted from State Street throughout April as Bangor Water District replaces 19th century water mains.

The approximately $1 million project to replace water mains at the intersection of State and Hancock streets will start Monday, ahead of the city’s paving and maintenance plan for 2021. The City of Bangor plans to pave almost a mile of road extending northeast from Hancock Street later in the year.

While water line maintenance is taking place, westbound traffic will be detoured onto Howard Street, left onto Garland Street and left onto Fern Street to reconnect with State Street. Normal traffic will resume past that point.

City officials noted that eastbound traffic will not experience any diversions and will continue as normal.

Otis Street will not be part of the detour, and will be open to local traffic only.

The emergency entrance and entrance to the employee parking lot at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center will still be accessible, and Bangor Water District will place signage and flaggers around both entrances to direct traffic.

All construction will take place from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m, Sunday-Friday through the end of the month.

The project will replace approximately 1,300 feet of water mains that have been part of the city’s water supply system since 1875. Included in the project is the replacement of three service connections on Howard Street, Otis Street and Spruce Street, as well as two service connections to EMMC.

Lead engineer Kyle Killip anticipates that about 25 customers will experience temporary service interruptions while the project is underway, but the hospital’s water supply is not expected to be disrupted.

Any customers that will experience water shutoffs will be notified at least 48 hours in advance by phone or a notice posted on the front door of residential buildings.

Leela Stockley is an alumna of the University of Maine. She was raised in northern Maine, and loves her cat Wesley, her puppy Percy and staying active in the Maine outdoors.