Scarborough, South Portland street projects get regional funds

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SCARBOROUGH — The town will receive about $200,000 over the next three years for the first phase of rebuilding a portion of Gorham Road

The Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System is also slated to fund a little more than $100,000 for bicycle and pedestrian improvements at Cash Corner in South Portland, as well as upgrading traffic and pedestrian signals in the city at the intersections of Broadway and Evans and Lincoln streets.

PACTS is a regional, federally funded program that coordinates state and federal aid to municipalities for transportation improvement projects. 

At a July 21 meeting, the regional group decided to allocate $200,000 to Scarborough, to be matched by local funding sources, to fulfill the first phase of plans to rebuild 1.25 miles of Gorham Road, from Wentworth Drive to Ridgeway Road.

The town’s funding application called the stretch “one of the main commuter corridors in the region.”

The goal is to eventually rebuild more than 2 miles of the roadway, all the way to Payne Road – a project estimated to cost about $3.1 million.

Gorham Road’s annual average daily traffic is a little more than 12,100 vehicles, according to the application, and it has been more than a quarter of a century since any major construction was performed. 

The roadway is weathered and cracked, and “has not withstood the test of time,” according to the town’s application. 

Rather than making piecemeal improvements, the town opted for a complete infrastructure replacement. The town applied in January for help with not only rebuilding the roadway, but replacing the curbing, new sidewalks, drainage improvements, new bike lanes, new crosswalks and improved water quality treatment measures. 

The project’s inclusion of increased pedestrian access also aligns with the town’s new Complete Streets Policy, which signifies that streets are to be considered pathways not just for cars, but for bicycles and pedestrians.  

The amount of money to fund the project not covered by PACTS funding will come from the town’s capital budget and other funding sources. 

South Portland

PACTS will fund construction and improvements for South Portland’s projects in the 2019 budget cycle. 

The city applied in January for funds to improve traffic and pedestrian signals at the often-congested Evans and Lincoln street intersections with Broadway.

Signal equipment would be upgraded with “interconnection features between both intersections,” according to an April memo from former City Manager Jim Gailey, which would create more “signal coordination” and data collection between the two intersections.

The goal for the multi-use path along Main Street through Cash Corner is to make the entire street pedestrian friendly, Planning and Development Director Tex Haeuser said in April. 

The improvements, similar to Scarborough’s on Gorham road, would include a combination of crosswalk improvements, signal improvements, and curb and guardrail additions.

Alex Acquisto can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or aacquisto@theforecaster.net. Follow Alex on Twitter: @AcquistoA

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South Portland and Scarborough reporter for The Forecaster. Graduate of Western Kentucky University and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. Alex can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106.