2017-09-08 / Front Page

Hill Way closed to improve Cape roads

By Michael Kelley
Staff Writer


Hill Way, a short road that runs from Ocean House Road to in front of Pond Cove Elementary School on Scott Dyer Road, will be closed until November as watermain, sidewalk and shoulder improvements continue on the roadway. (Michael Kelley photo) Hill Way, a short road that runs from Ocean House Road to in front of Pond Cove Elementary School on Scott Dyer Road, will be closed until November as watermain, sidewalk and shoulder improvements continue on the roadway. (Michael Kelley photo) CAPE ELIZABETH – It will be a case of can’t get here from there in town for the next few months as work continues on Hill Way, a short road that connects Ocean House Road (Route 77) to Scott Dyer Road across from Pond Cove Elementary School.

Cape Elizabeth Public Works Director Bob Malley said the project, which kicked off Aug. 7 and also includes work on Scott Dyer Road, is the first phase of a two-phase project aimed at improving the roadways.

“Phase 1 includes sanitary sewer redesign and new sidewalk and drainage improvements from the easterly portion Scott Dyer Road from Route 77 to Longfellow Drive and water main, sidewalk and shoulder improvements on Hill Way,” Malley said.

To finish the work on Hill Way by the targeted Nov. 1 completion date, the roadway will be closed to pedestrians and traffic until then. Malley said motorists are encouraged to access Scott Dyer Road from Ocean House Road instead of Hill Way, which is used to access Scott Dyer Road without approaching the congested intersection where Scott Dyer Road, Shore Road and Ocean House Road converge.

Improving Hill Way has been listed among the town council’s priorities this year.

“The pavement is failing in several places and there are sidewalk and drainage issues that need to be addressed. Hill Way in particular does not have an adequate subsurface drainage system, the sidewalk is not completely in the public right of way and the Portland Water District would like to replace the 1920s vintage water main,” Malley wrote in a May 8 letter to neighborhood residents. “The town council recognized the deteriorating condition of Hill Way and made it one of their 2017 goals to undertake improvements this year.”

Cape Elizabeth Police Chief Neil Williams is concerned the closure of Hill Way will impact the traffic pattern along Scott Dyer Road, especially for motorists trying to get to and from Pond Cove Elementary School and Cape Elizabeth Middle School. The area, he mentioned in a post on Facebook, is already burdened in the morning from those going to and from school and those entering and exiting the Cumberland Farms on Ocean House Road.

“To help relieve some of the congestion, Pond Cove and Middle school parents/ guardians that can should approach on Scott Dyer Road coming from Spurwink (Avenue) and when leaving go Scott Dyer Road towards Spurwink (Avenue),” he wrote in a Aug. 30 post.

That, however, is only a suggestion. There will be no official detours.

“Right now there are no planned detours,” Williams told the Sentry. “There really isn’t a way to detour around it. You got to get to the schools. You can’t detour around the schools if you are going to the schools.”

Malley said the second phase of the project, which would include “full depth reconstruction” of Scott Dyer Road from Longfellow Drive to Spurwink Avenue and a sidewalk reconstruction from Patricia Drive to Spurwink Avenue is set for 2019, but has yet to receive funding from the town council.

Scott Dyer Road is considered one of the town’s busiest roads as it houses the entrances to two of Cape Elizabeth’s three schools, the public library, a residential neighborhood and connects Shore Road and Ocean House Road – other busy thoroughfares – with Spurwink Avenue, which leads to the town’s recycling center on Dennison Drive.

The work on Scott Dyer Road and Hill Way is part of a five-year plan for roadway and drainage improvements across Cape Elizabeth. The plan, which the town council approved in October 2015, spans fiscal year 2017 to fiscal year 2021. The work recommended in the plan is expected to cost $2.5 million, but some of that cost could be offset through the Maine Department of Transportation’s Municipal Partnership Initiative.

In 2018 – fiscal year 2019 – paving and drainage work, as well as sidewalk assessment, is proposed on Shore Road. The roadway last had major paving improvements in 1993. Paving on Eastman Road, last paved in 1998, is also proposed. Paving work is proposed on Fessenden Road, Broad Cove Road and a segment of Mitchell Road in 2019 (fiscal year 2020). Work on Route 77 from Fowler Road to the Scarborough town line, as well as work on Oakhurst Road and Woodland Road is planned for the final year of the plan.

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