Congestion likely as construction projects take over Route 1

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SCARBOROUGH — Two major road construction projects will disrupt traffic along Route 1 this summer, a result of town and state plans to improve a congested intersection and a busy stretch of the road.

Construction began this week to add turn lanes at the Haigis Parkway and Route 1 intersection to help deal with traffic issues at the popular intersection. The project, which is entirely funded by the town, will cost $2.35 million.

“Right now there’s no dedicated left-hand turn lanes so people are going around the cars waiting to turn,” Public Works Director Mike Shaw said. “It’s dangerous.”

The project also includes plans to extend the sidewalk from Sullivan Tire down to the Irving Station as well as adding landscaped island dividers at the intersection.

“It’s an ambitious landscaping plan,” Shaw said. “Route 1 in Scarborough is like Route 302 in Windham: It has character, but not good character. This will soften the appearance of Route 1.”

And just as the Haigis Parkway project gets going, the Maine Department of Transportation will begin a repaving project that will stretch from Oak Hill nearly to Dunstan corner.

The DOT project will begin after Memorial Day weekend and take the better part of the summer to complete. Shaw said the town has asked the DOT to make sure two northbound lanes are open until 9 a.m. every morning and two southbound lanes are open after 3 p.m. every evening to help deal with commuter traffic.

The DOT will start its repaving project at the Haigis Parkway intersection so the town will be able to keep its project on schedule.

The Dunstan Corner intersection is scheduled to be redesigned next year.

“These next two years are going to be trying for everyone,” Shaw said.

Emily Parkhurst can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or eparkhurst@theforecaster.net

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