BANGOR, Maine — Drivers dread construction season in Maine -- especially when it comes to detours, which, at times, can feel endless.

There's also the occasional detour to nowhere, which takes the driver off the main road, but never seems to direct them back.

Officials in the city of Bangor work to ensure their detours get drivers back on track.

"We've been interfering with traffic for so long down here it just seems like we never leave," said Bangor Department of Public Works director Eric Willett of his employees working in the downtown area.

Willett admits his crews have gone from one downtown construction job to the next, including the ongoing road work on Hammond Street.

"During the day, we possibly can't do it because it's so busy down here, traffic is so heavy, we'd cause back-ups all the way up the hill and all the way down Main Street," said Willett. "People get very mad at us."

Oftentimes, those people will express their frustration on the city's Facebook page.

City of Bangor Facebook page screenshot picture
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"Our roads get torn up during the winter so, you know, [construction is] going on, which is a good thing though because [the roads are] getting fixed," said Bangor resident Elizabeth Hagerman. "You just kind of avoid it when you can and when you can't, you just kind of get stuck in it. You have to plan ahead."

Hagerman had to get her two sons to their swim lesson Wednesday before learning the class was rained out.

She took a different route to avoid the nearby detour altogether.

"I knew where it was kind of going on and I didn't want to get stuck in it and be late for these guys so I actually took Fourteenth Street and then came through a couple of side streets," said Hagerman.

"It's an inconvenience anytime you interfere with somebody on their way to an appointment or on their way to work and we try to interfere as little as possible at that but sometimes it can't be helped," said Willett. "We're working on roads that you have to travel on and once we're done and out of the way, you'll be riding on nice, new black hot-top and it'll look nice and it'll feel nice and your car will appreciate it too."

Willett added that the detours set up around the city are thoughtfully planned, not thrown around.

"Is this the best route," asked Willett. "Is this street wide enough for both lanes of traffic? Can it handle the volume of cars that are going to be going through it?"

Crews set up a detour sign at every block to direct traffic and avoid confusion to get drivers where they need to go as quickly as possible.

"I don't want to create a 10 minute detour for somebody trying to go down the street when it can only be a 30 second detour or a 1 minute detour," said Willett.

"We always look out for [detours] even on road trips and stuff," added Hagerman. "It's part of Maine."