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Topsham panel to evaluate Route 196 corridor

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Topsham panel to evaluate Route 196 corridor

TOPSHAM — The town is seeking members for a committee that will study much of Route 196 and draft a corridor plan for the road.

The Route 196 Corridor Study Committee, which the Board of Selectmen voted recently to create, could begin its work next month.

The corridor plan – recommended in the town's 2005 Comprehensive Plan – will study land uses, visual impacts, transportation and access issues from roughly the area of Interstate 295 west to the Lisbon town line.

The committee will make recommendations concerning improvements along that stretch, with input from the community.

The group will be "trying to figure out, 'how do we want to see Route 196 look and operate in 20 years,'" Planning Director Rich Roedner said on Monday.

The area includes a variety of zones: residential, rural residential and rural commercial.

Roedner noted that the committee could consider different options, such as addressing the need for the town's Industrial District to have frontage on Route 196, the potential for added commercially zoned land or for different types of residential zones, access control, or frontage zoning versus zoning that has depth along the road.

Residents interested in serving on the committee can call the Topsham Planning Office at 725-1724 to obtain an application form. The forms can also be found at topshammaine.com, under the "Boards & Committees" tab.

Roedner can be reached for questions and more information at rroedner@topshammaine.com or 725-1724.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.