Bangor motorists may need to leave extra time to reach their destination as a major city thoroughfare will become the site of three major construction projects over the next two years.
Already a busy artery through Bangor, Broadway in the coming years will see the Interstate 95 overpass replaced, two intersections that bisect with I-95 on- and off-ramps overhauled, and new developments that promise to bring new retail and housing to the area.
The Bangor Planning Board approved a developer’s plan this month to build a shopping center with a drive-through Starbucks near an entrance to the Broadway shopping center, and the city plans to overhaul two intersections that bisect with the I-95 northbound and southbound interchanges on Broadway.
Much of that work would happen in tandem with a state project to replace the I-95 bridge that carries traffic over the bustling city street.
All of that work would happen to a stretch of road that contains three areas that were the sites of almost 300 car crashes between 2015 and 2021, according to state data.
The three high-crash sites are at the intersections of Broadway and Earle Avenue, Broadway and Center Street in front of the I-95 northbound on-and off-ramp, and the intersection of Broadway and the I-95 southbound on-ramp, near Alden Street.
That stretch of Broadway between Center and Alden streets, also known as Route 15, carries some 19,000 cars a day, according to a presentation city engineering staff gave last week.
The Planning Board also approved a 61-unit subdivision at 870 Broadway on Tuesday night, though that project would be nearly a mile away from the intersections being overhauled.
The Department of Transportation plans to spend $20 million replacing the I-95 bridge and will install a temporary bridge, while making other improvements like fixing sidewalks and traffic lights and installing bike lanes and more visible crosswalks, according to the city’s presentation.
The city would begin advertising for contracting bids on the intersection overhauls next spring in tandem with the bridge project, and have a budget of $1.95 million. Construction is expected to last several years.
The state has proposed eliminating the left-hand turn lane on I-95’s southbound off-ramp, which allows drivers to turn left onto Broadway when coming off the highway. Instead, the off-ramp would feature two right-turn lanes.
While no road closures or detours are anticipated, the city would close some lanes at off-peak hours, with flaggers and police officers directing traffic. Businesses along the corridor, like the Irving Oil gas station and Tri-City Pizza, would remain accessible.
Bangor city engineer John Theriault directed questions to the Department of Transportation. A spokesperson said the state transit agency had not yet begun planning for traffic disruptions.
But a few streets could see their traffic patterns changed. Earle Avenue would turn into a right-turn-only street from Broadway. The center median on Alden Street would also be extended.
The planned development farther down at the intersection of School Street would also only allow drivers to turn right onto Broadway, according to project plans.