Reconstruction moves along in Warren

By Beth A. Birmingham | Aug 27, 2014
Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham A familiar old garage that used to be at the intersection of Routes 1 and 97 in Warren is no more. Maine Department of Transportation demolished the building in preparation for moving the intersection farther south on Route 1 for safety reasons.

Warren — 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

Maine Department of Transportation plans to move the turn from Route 1 onto Route 97 south in order to slow traffic. The old garage that was a familiar landmark is no longer there. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Crews from Lane Construction began cutting out the old pavement along sections of Route 1 in Warren the week of Aug. 25. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Along with widening the shoulders on Route 1 to 8 feet, improved drainage is being installed. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Traffic is down to one lane in two sections along Route 1 in Warren the week of Aug. 25 as crews continue the reconstruction project estimated to be completed August 2015. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Blasting of some ledge along Route 1 in Warren has taken place as part of the reconstruction of 1.52 miles of pavement. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Comments (1)
Posted by: PETER LAMMERT | Aug 28, 2014 08:35

I should not be sticking my nose in another town's business but I have to both enter and exit Route 97 several times a month and drive Westerly on Rt One and I will make this observation. In the first picture above, the shot is taken ,more or less, looking South or at least in a Southerly direction. This is the direction, indicated in the story, where the turn will be moved to. Notice that the land, where the former garage was located slops downward toward the river. If the turn is moved in this direction, then those exiting from Route 97, especially those driving sub compact cars where the line of sight out the drivers window is less than four feet off the ground, will have a hard time seeing cars coming from Warren.

But if this is the case, I'm sure the engineers have figured out that you will have to add fill to that corner, so that drivers in tiny vehicles can see cars coming from Warren or there will have to be a guardrail on the Leavitt side of the turn or both. So now the aforementioned cars, going 60 miles an hour, trying to take the turn down 97 ,will hit that guard rail launching their vehicle up an over the guard rail into the Leavitt home.

I suggest that MeDOT erect a rather large set of bungee cords here for guard rails, that would propel the speeding turn taker back as far as the  MeDOT directional signs, that seem to be hidden by that rascally invasive autumn olive, which indicates that the turn to Cushing is coming right up.

Failing that, a launch ramp could be installed up and over the Leavitt home so that those missing the turn could land in the hay field beside Rt. 97.

Failing all of this, when will an astute engineer figure out a system that when a cell phone in operation goes past a direction sign that a turn is upcoming, a device will mute the phone until it goes either down the turn or past the turn. Maybe that would cause someone driving 60 on Rt. One to slow down.

In the mean time, when I'm going South on Rt. 1 from Thomaston, I'm Taking Rt. 131 at Stubbys to Rt 90, turning left at the light and arriving at the Rts one and 90 intersection only a few tenths of a mile more than if I had stayed in the waits, the dust and dirt and the incredible bumpy road of the construction area.

Oh by the way, won't the ice still be on the road  in the winter in the area of the tall pines where the Cutting Farm was ?. Someone should have bought the stumpage and removed them so their shadows won't continue to shade that portion of the road.

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