Thomaston Wal-Mart project progressesRoad work expected on Old County
Thomaston — Construction at the 32-acre Thomaston Commons is buzzing right along with Super Wal-Mart nearly complete and Tractor Supply Co. at approximately 15 percent, according to Code Enforcement Officer Bill Wasson.
As of Aug. 15, most of the landscaping was in place at Super Wal-Mart, located at 55 Thomaston Commons Way. Grocery cart stalls were in place, the store sign went up on the building, and the drive thru pharmacy was in place.
Dead River Gas Company has installed the gas tanks behind the 150,000-square-foot structure, and an independent water tank is in place if needed for the sprinkler system. Also behind the scenes are a cardboard compactor, three receiving bays with reinforced concrete surface for the heavy delivery trucks, and a refrigeration area.
A sidewalk runs all the way from Wal-Mart to the Route 1 main entrance — between Dorman's Dairy Dream and Midcoast Federal Credit Union — where the traffic lights are blinking yellow and the primary signage is erected. A crosswalk will be painted for pedestrians from Thomaston Commons Way cross Route 1 to the Applebee's side.
The estimated cost of the construction is $28 million, according to David Martucci, Assessors' Agent.
The Super Wal-Mart is scheduled for a grand opening Oct. 16. Thomaston Planning Board approved the project in September 2011.
Meanwhile, at Rockland Wal-Mart, a banner outside advertises "Now Interviewing for All Positions" and fliers at customer service are available for those looking for a job.
All 200 current employees will be transferring to the new location, while another 85 positions are being advertised as well.
According to store manager Shawn Ames, the new store will be hiring both full- and part-time associates, who will begin work in September to help prepare the store for its grand re-opening.
Hours of operation will be 7 a.m. to midnight daily.
Wal-Mart's distribution center is located in Lewiston and with the added traffic expectation on Route 1, it is foreseen that Old County Road will see a definitive increase in traffic.
That stretch of road is maintained by the combined efforts of the City of Rockland and Maine Department of Transportation.
"The portion in the 'compact zone' from Thompson Meadow Road to Lake View Terrace is owned by the state, but maintained by the city," said Rockland Public Works Director Greg Blackwell.
The remaining portions of Old County are owned and maintained by the state, said Blackwell.
According to Blackwell, the state is planning on laying a thin overlay of pavement at the beginning of September on the portion of road outside the compact zone, however the area inside the zone does not qualify for this type of treatment.
"It needs to be included as a major capital project with MDOT," said Blackwell, "and they are very aware of the city's need to have the road rebuilt."
The problem is the state's lack of money and the low priority designation of this road on their list, said Blackwell.
"It is falling apart quicker than we can maintain it and more traffic — especially trucks — will not help," said Blackwell.
MDOT Regional Manager Mike Burns said Aug. 16 they will be doing some maintenance resurfacing. A stretch of 2.55 miles from Route1 in Thomaston up to urban compact line in Rockland and 1.65 miles of Route 1 in Rockport south to the urban compact line.
Burns said the estimated cost will be $150,000 for the Old County Road work.
"The objective is to maintain ride quality," said Burns, noting it will not strengthen the road at all, but keep the ride acceptable.
Lane Construction has been contracted to lay the asphalt pavement right over what is currently there. Work will begin before cold weather sets in, according to Burns.
Tractor Supply Co.
The other business under construction, Tractor Supply Co., located at 38 Thomaston Commons Way, has its perimeter walls in place. The 12,000-square-foot structure sits on a 6.23-acre lot. Storm drains, along with an 8-inch water line connection are activities being conducted as of recently.
"There is a tremendous amount of sub-surface work that needs to be done," said Wasson.
Wasson said two other lots, adjacent to Tractor Supply Co., are available along with a 2-acre lot closer to Route 1 zoned for a restaurant.
Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or by email at email@example.com.
594-4401 ext. 125
Beth rejoined Courier Publications' news staff in February 2013. She previously worked at The Courier-Gazette from 1981 to 1990.
Her coverage area includes Warren, Union, Friendship, Waldoboro, Washington, and Thomaston and RSU40.
Beth has a passion for photography, and a degree from the University of Maine at Augusta, in affiliation with the Maine Photographic Workshop in Rockport.
Aside from photography, Beth enjoys running and walks along the waterfront, as well as other outdoor activities. She has a daughter, Claire, who is 13.
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