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September 27, 2018

Lack of contractors forces Bangor to delay redesign of downtown square

The initial phase of a massive renovation of Pickering Square in downtown Bangor has been delayed for several months, after the city was unable to hire a contractor for the project.

Plans call for building a new entrance to a parking garage in the square – work that was to have begun in August and finish this fall. But the $250,000 job failed to attract construction bids, the Bangor Daily News reported Thursday.

"No one needs work right now. The contractors are all busy," City Engineer John Theriault told the BDN.

The city will put the project out to bid again, with a more lucrative contract and a flexible timeline, he said. Work might then begin over the winter or next spring.

When complete, the redesign will move the entrance from the garage's northern side, near Bangor's central bus terminal, to the corner of Water Street. The relocation will help avoid traffic congestion that now occurs as buses, bus riders and garage-goers converge in a narrow area, the BDN said.

In addition to the new garage entrance, Bangor's downtown renovation includes landscape work in a triangular area between Merchants Plaza, West Market Square and Pickering Square. The landscaping will have to take place during warm weather next year, Theriault said.

The renovation plans also call for replacement of a crumbling and unsafe footbridge over the Kenduskeag Stream, which could cost as much as $1.8 million, according to the BDN.

Subsequent work will make improvements to the bus terminal. To begin this process, a transit study has been commissioned by the city, the results of which are anticipated in April 2019.

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