Council approves application for Shore Road path grant

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CAPE ELIZABETH — The Shore Road path may be a step closer to reality, following a June 14 decision by the Town Council to authorize a grant application that would fund much of the construction costs.

The application, due to the Maine Department of Transportation Quality Community Program by July 1, will ask for $709,000 for the $1 million project, with 20 percent, approximately $200,000, to come from a local match.

“The council has already authorized $110,000 to cover permitting and application fees,” said Town Planner Maureen O’Meara.

The group Safe Access For Everyone, which supports the construction of a path along Shore Road, has committed to raising funds toward the local match. The group has raised more than $50,000 and is continuing its efforts, according to its website.

The proposed plan, which would add a 5-foot path in the right of way from Fort Williams to the town center, will require site plan approval from the planning board and a resource protection permit for altering wetlands. State permits will also be required.

The plan will go before the Planning Board on July 20 for a public hearing and site plan review.

The Shore Road path has a storied history. In 1996, a proposal for a 4-foot wide path was rejected by the council. Then, in 2007, the council adopted a comprehensive plan that included a feasibility study for a path.

The study included a new survey of the town right of way, a map of wetlands and a layout concept plan. The plan was officially proposed by the Shore Road Pathway Committee and accepted by the council in September 2009.

Since then, the town has been considering alternative ways to fund the construction. The MaineDOT’s Quality Community Program grant, which it awards every two years, supports communities looking to create safe pathways between schools and other community spaces.

O’Meara said she thinks the town has a good chance of winning the grant.

“I think this is a really great project. I think it will compete really well,” she said.

Emily Parkhurst can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or