The Maine Department of Transportation has demolished an old garage that once stood at the corner of Routes 1 and 97 as part of a plan to reconfigure the intersection.

The MDOT plans to move the intersection farther south on Route 1, according to Darryl Leavitt, who lives adjacent to the site and whose family owned the lot.

"As it is now, cars and trucks come flying off Route 1 going 60 miles an hour," said Leavitt. He said the new configuration will force vehicles to slow down.

Ted Talbot, MDOT press secretary, confirmed Aug. 28  the plan calls for the change in the name of safety.

Also as of the week of Aug. 25, the paving crews began cutting the pavement after extensive clearing on either side of Route 1.

"Reconstruction calls for taking up the old and putting in the new," said Talbot, who added drainage improvements and curb work continue as well.

Talbot said the crews are attempting to keep the work zone within 1,000 feet to allow traffic to flow freely.

The $4.6 million project — which includes full reconstruction of 1.52 miles of Route 1, new 8-foot shoulders, new drainage and curbs and blasting of some ledge — will continue into the fall then resume next spring. Completion of the project is expected by August 2015.

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at bbirmingham@courierpublicationsllc.com.