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December 29, 2017

MaineMed expansion may close part of Congress Street for eight weeks

Maine Medical Center's five-year, $512 million expansion includes plans for closing a block of Congress Street for eight weeks next spring, the Portland Press Herald reported.

The Portland Press Herald reported that the closure, between Weymouth and Forest streets, would be to accommodate a crane needed to add three floors to the hospital's parking garage.

The expansion, slated to begin in May, also includes 19 new operating rooms and 128 new single-occupancy patient rooms, and will increase the footprint of the hospital's main campus by about 25%. A 270,000-square-foot building along Congress Street would serve as the hospital's main entrance.

Tuck O'Brien, Portland's planning director, told the Press Herald that any plan to close part of Congress Street, a major artery to downtown, will be studied closely. He said the city is looking at alternatives.

The city Planning Board will take up the project at a 4:30 p.m. meeting on Jan. 23 at City Hall. The board plans to review the site plan several times over the next six to eight months, O'Brien said.

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