mainedot planning studies: wiscasset route 1 corridor study
- Why don't we provide a pedestrian bridge, move all Main Street parking to alternative parking lots and install a turning lane and not waste millions by buying land and building new roads and bridges. In this time of tight budgets we should try new alternatives first.- John Carter Edgecomb
MDOT: John, MaineDOT developed a traffic engineering study earlier this year that showed that even if all the pedestrians crossing the road and all the turning traffic were removed, it still would not solve the congestion problem. The problem is rooted in a combination of circumstances: the hill, the sharp curve, the railroad tracks, the 25 mph speed limit. Certainly the pedestrians and turning traffic make it worse, but regardless, there is just no way that that roadway configuration can handle the amount of traffic that will be flowing on this major arterial road in the busiest part of the midcoast. And it is important to make the final route decision now, because there are many people who are not able to move ahead with their lives until they know whether their property will - or will not - be affected by the final route. However, MaineDOT will certainly be working with the Task Force and the town of Wiscasset to try several of the items you mention over the next few years, including signage on the interstate, web cams, alternative parking, and perhaps a crossing guard. A turning lane has already been installed. I hope that clarifies the issues we are dealing with. MaineDOT is not looking for ways to spend money; but after long and careful evaluation, they have come to the conclusion that a bypass is the only real solution.
- We were told that we would finally have an answer as to if the bypass is going to happen by June 2008. We had our house on the market and were told we had to disclose the bypass information to potential buyers, which of course turned people away. This has really been a hardship as we "were" going to be building a new house in Edgecomb as soon as we sold ours.Now it seems we are stuck were we are for WHO NOWS HOW LONG! This is really getting old! Could you please LET US KNOW WHEN THE FINAL DECISION IS GOING TO BE SE WE CAN GET ON WITH OUR LIVES!!!! Thank You, Glen and Belinda Haggett 28 old Bath Rd Wiscasset, ME 04578 207-882-7750- Belinda Haggett Wiscasset
MDOT: Mr. and Mrs. Haggett: MaineDOT has made a decision on a preliminary preferred alternative - N2a - which is the long, outside route of the five original alternatives. Final environmental data is being gathered and reviewed, and the next step is for the Army Corps of Engineers to determine which of the routes they can issue a permit for. That should take place this fall, with a formal Record of Decision as to which route taking place early next year. However, it appears that you will be affected regardless of which route is chosen. This means that if you want to move as soon as possible, you should send a letter to MaineDOT telling them of your intent so they can purchase your property at fair market value as soon as the decision is final and funds are available. Again, this could be as early as next year, depending on funding. I will ask Mike Danforth, who works in the Right of Way Division of MaineDOT to call you within the next week to provide more details. I am very sorry for this amount of time this process has taken; we realize what it is doing to people's lives and at this point are doing everything possible to expedite the decision. Carol Morris
- Quoting earlier question and response:"Has anyone proposed building a pedestrian overpass? Even if there were two, one at the top of the hill and one at the bottom it would be a lot less disruptive and expensive than building a highway bypass. The other option could be tunnels,which might be easier for handicapped access. Traffic would still be slow but would not have to come to a stop allow people to cross the road. - rachel reck southport MDOT: While both these solutions would help people to cross the street, it would not remove the through-traffic from downtown Wiscasset, which is much of the cause of the congestion. The safety of people trying to cross is certainly an issue, but the fumes, noise and vibration of the traffic is a significant negative to downtown residents and shopowners. As a result, simply making pedestrian crossing safer and easier would not solve the entire problem that is plaguing the region. Please note that most people seem to be concerned with the congestion issue" A pedestrian overpass is not just about pedestrians. Everyone knows that basically two things cause the congestion: One being the railroad track that many vehicles are required by law to stop at at the bottom of a steep hill which takes considerable fuel and energy to recover from and the other is the stopping of vehicles to allow for the cdrossing of foot traffic which likewise takes considerable fuel and energy to recover from. To ignore a relatively inexpensice and low impact solution is crazy. If you elavated the highway over a combined rail/pedestrian crossing, you would indeed solve the problem. A bypass would not alieviate these facts.- Nathan Nicholls Waldoboro, Maine
MDOT: Thanks for taking the time to comment.
- I have previously written supporting a bypass around Wiscasset. A bypass will improve highway safety and reduce emissions associated with idling vehicles. Additionally, the bypass will continue to make the Maine Mid-coast an attractive destination for tourists and improve the viability of Wiscasset businesses. To the last point, I have heard many people comment about wanting to stop and shop in Wiscasset but not wanting to lose their place in the line of traffic going through the village It is imperative that the selected route ensure efficient, safe traffic flow to make it attractive for people to use. In this regard, I strongly urge access from Route 218. The Alna area is growing and uses 218 as its main highway to Route 1. More importantly, Route 218 is the primary route to and from the Whitefield gravel pit for moving gravel east. The gravel trucks exit 218 and travel through small villages such as Alna, Sheepscott, Head Tide and Damariscotta Mills to avoid the Wiscasset traffic. In Sheepscott, for example, heavy traffic moves by homes including a Day Care Center far in excess of posted speeds and has resulted in a new bridge being built over the Sheepscot River in the Village. Trucks and local automobile traffic should be encouraged to use the new bypass primarily for safety but also to reduce the cost of maintaining the secondary roads and bridges in the surrounding communities. In addition, the local economy will benefit by enhancing the viability of the Whitefield gravel pit through more efficient distribution. Without access from 218, the bypass will not be cost effective for moving gravel and will only partially solve the traffic flow problems through the neighboring villages. Again, a Wiscasset bypass will enhance Maine's economy, improve highway safety, reduce emissions and reduce the excessive high speed traffic through neighboring communities. Failure to provide access to the new bypass from 218 will only partially address current cost, safety and quality of life issues. - William M Robb Newcastle
MDOT: Thank you for your comment.
- The Wiscasset Bypass is 50 years past due !!! The Wiscasset Bypass needs to be built at the earliest possible time and it must be a limited access highway just like the Damariscotta bypass. The bypass has been needed in the past, it is needed today and it will be needed even more so in the future. The selfish not-in-my-yard interests of Wiscasset have blocked this improvement for far too long. Wiscasset actions are a high degree of self-centered arrogance and not in the best interests of our state of Maine. Today the roads to the north and to the south have been improved so the traffic can flow at about 50 mph. The maximum speed through Wiscasset is 25 mph but even this slow pace is further slowed by traffic turning onto and off route 1 and is slowed even more by the almost constant pedestrian walking across route 1. Also the delays through Wiscasset add to the pollution in the area atmosphere. If the tourist business is even slightly important to the Maine economy, this is the best way to irritate those who bring money into Maine’’’’s economy. More importantly for the Maine economy is that the Wiscasset traffic bottleneck hurts businesses to the North and to the South. I for one will not shop at a Wiscasset business until the bypass is built. Wiscasset is a lovely town for people to shop and eat. Why mix the cars and trucks that just want to get on the other side of Wiscasset into this setting. I think it strange that this comment period is all happening in the winter. It should have been done in the summer when the thousands of cars that bring money into the Maine economy are going bumper to bumper through Wiscasset. If this comment period were done in the summer the Maine DOT and the FHWA would be inundated with complaints. This is all happening essentially between Thanksgiving and Christmas, which is the busiest time of year for most people. Because of the timing of the comment period, the number of comments is not going to reflect the feelings of those most in need of having the bypass. Build a bypass around Wiscasset that has limited access and build it as soon as possible!! Richard Chutter Round Pond, Me 04564 - Richard Chutter Round Pond
MDOT: Thank you for your comment.
- With the exceptions of the "no build option" and possilby the "N8c" Route, all routes proposed have an enormously damaging and scarring effect on the land, the people and the environmnet in the Edgecomb area as well as Wiscasset. The extravagent cost of these routes is hugely disproportionate to the problem caused by primarily summer traffic in the area. Causes of the traffic problems in Wiscasset should be addressed and resolved before considering any bypass options. - Catherine Norton Edgecomb.
MDOT: Thanks for your comment. Here's some background. Vehicle traffic is estimated to increase at 1.5% annually for the next 20 years. This is based on trend analysis. The geometry of the road (the sharp curve at the top of the hill) by necessity reduces the speed people will travel coming into the village. As a result, this location will always create a bottleneck. Origin and destination studies in the corridor have shown that most of the traffic is fairly local along Route 1 - that is, the majority of people are traveling a distance of one to four towns along Route 1. So in a nutshell, the traffic problem is caused by the physical geometry of the road, and the safety-related need for traffic to move more slowly through the village, as well as the fact that people who live in the region depend on Route 1 for commuting and for delivery of their goods and services. In order to cut down on congestion, either more traffic would have to be able to move through the village more swiftly or the traffic needs to be routed somewhere else.
- This is a copy of a letter mailed to Mr. Hanscom on Tuesday, dec. 18.) December 18, 2007 Mr. Edward Hanscom, P.E. Maine Department of Transportation Bureau of Planning 16 State House Station Augusta, ME 04333-0016 Dear Mr. Hanscom: I spent a bit of the weekend reading the Wiscasset Route 1 Corridor Study. As you well know, it is a comprehensive review of the traffic problems affecting the Midcoast from Bath to Edgecomb. As one who has come to the area recently, I especially found valuable the Study’’’’s history and evaluation of dozens of alternative routes. Up front, I should disclose that we purchased a house on Clark’’’’s Point in the fall of 2005. The builder was Doug Fitts. As you know, he is building an upscale development of condominiums and single-family homes along the Sheepscot. I have read many criticisms about the need for a Bypass. “It’’’’s only a two-month problem.” Easier and more quickly implemented options have not been tried, such as traffic lights, prohibiting parking and left-hand turns on Route 1, or moving Red’’’’s Eats. You, yourself, could list dozens of objections you’’’’ve heard, too. Personally, I’’’’m in the “two month problem” camp. Traffic congestion is a fact of life, albeit a very unpleasant one. As a full-time resident in northern Virginia, it can sometimes take me 90 minutes to travel the 22 miles to downtown Washington, DC. So, by comparison, sitting in an occasional backup from Shaw’’’’s on Old Bath Road to Federal Street in Wiscasset is no big deal. Irritating, sure. A nuisance, yes. A reason to better budget my time running errands, certainly? But a cause to undertake a $60-$70 million dollar building project which will displace dozens of residences, businesses, and jobs? I don’’’’t think so. Not when there are so many options not requiring heavy construction equipment. The alternative of not building a bypass deserves much more serious consideration. Moving Reds Eats and eliminating Route One street parking would eliminate a substantial amount of the summertime traffic backup. This would cost significantly less than $60 million, and would not displace scores of taxpaying homeowners. But, I understand there may be a bias to action on the part of DOT, after so many years and so much work evaluating build options. It appears to me that N2/N8C is the best choice of a bad lot, I think. According to the report, this route would: * Require the fewest residential and commercial displacements * Generate the greatest amount of travel time saved * Yield the greatest reduction of traffic through Wiscasset * Have the least amount of impact on job losses * Improve traffic safety and reduce accidents There is another factor which I think should be considered in making a Bypass decision: the financial stability and quality of life of the Village of Wiscasset. You are aware of the wrenching changes since the decommissioning of the nuclear power plant. The resulting loss of property tax revenue has terribly impacted the residents. Efforts to develop the Maine Yankee site are proceeding quite slowly. A recent Village-wide property value reassessment, ascribing values inflated by the ‘‘‘‘good old days’’’’ of the national real estate boom, have resulted in dozens of “For Sale” signs and any number of property owners in fear of losing their homes. One bright light, though, is Doug Fitts’’’’ project on the Sheepscot. He estimates it will generate 10% of the Village’’’’s property tax revenues. (I estimate the three dozen residences and improvements would be worth almost $500,000 to Wiscasset.) There would also be jobs created by construction of those homes and condos, plus the continuing purchase of goods and services. There appears to be at least one other residential development underway, on the Edgecomb side of the river, whose success could be similarly jeopardized. Construction of a northern Bypass route could torpedo his project and deal another blow to the Village. It seems to me that a healthy Wiscasset is both a responsibility, and in the best interest, of the State of Maine. Just as a physician should ‘‘‘‘do no harm,” surely the state should not endorse an action, such as Bypass construction, which would deliver another blow to the community and financial underpinning of our town. And at the least, construction of northern routes would have a destructive, noisy and unsightly impact on the beauty of the Sheepscot from Westport Island to Alna. Obviously, these two issues are of great import to me, given the location of our property and the impact such a Bypass route would have on our view. But that is no reason to discount them. I appreciate your invitation to submit my comments. Sincerely yours, Donna and Frank Barnako- frank barnako Wiscasset.
MDOT: Thank you for your comments.
December 14, 2007 Mr. Edward Hanscom, P.E. Maine Department of Transportation Bureau of Planning 16 State House Station Augusta, ME 04333-0016 Dear Mr. Hanscom: I am writing for clarification about our residence at 136 Clark’’’’s Pt. Road in Wiscasset. While each of my neighbors (four of them) have received notices their properties may be affected b y the construction of a Bypass, I have not. My concern has been raised because of a comment made by my neighbor, Doug Fitts whose residence is at 146 Clark’’’’s Pt. Road. He wrote to me that after a conversation with a conversation with a DOT official he came away with the impression you were unaware of our home, completed in 2005. The lot is surrounded by Mr. Fitts’’’’ land and, accordingly, I wonder if the real estate data your folks used in identify properties at-risk might not have been updated to include our home. Would you review this and advise me whether we, in fact, may be “potentially displaced”? Sincerely yours, Frank Barnako- Frank R. Barnako Jr. Wiscasset
MDOT: Thanks for your comment, Mr. Barnako. I will send it to Ed, and he will respond to you. FYI, we will also be at the Alna Fire Station tonight if you would like to speak with Ed personally. The meeting begins at 6 and we will be there for at least an hour, likely more. Carol Morris
E275C3A5 I urge you to do the bypass, and avoid Davis Island. I travel through Wiscasset on Route 27 4-5 days/week and feel it is imperative to have a safe way to do this without crossing traffic either north or south bound. Good interchanges between Route 1 and 27 are an important part of this project, as is avoiding extra potential problems from the large increase of homes on Davis Island. joanne oconnor- JOANNE OCONNOR EDGECOMB
MDOT: Thanks for your comment.
- I'm very glad that something is finally being done! The residents of Wiscasset should be the last people to have a voice in the main issue -- that there should be a bypass of some sort; they don't have to suffer as much as everyone else. And the possible loss of some (not all) business income is a poor reason to cause so much inconvenience to so many. As to WHICH route -- they all look difficult. There wasn't a way to cross the river SOUTH of Wiscasset, hmm? Anyway, I'm glad it's finally happening. Thanks, Michael Cooney- Michael Cooney Friendship
MDOT: Thanks for your comment. In truth, think many of the residents of Wiscasset - and Edgecomb as well - have said they do want a bypass, but there are also many who are not happy with any of the routes proposed. If there was a clear and easy path for a new road, it is likely that this process would not have taken so long.
- For 24 years I have driven to and from work, which is in Bath. The people in Wiscasset are correct; the traffic is only backed up for a period of three months out of the year. However, when I get out of work I like to get home in the normal 35 to 40 minutes it usually takes me to get home. Sitting in traffic sometime for 40 minutes is not the way I want to spend my trip home. I have things I would like to accomplish once I get home and setting in traffic takes that time away. Those folks that live in Wiscasset don’’’’t have to sit in traffic jams day after day. If they did, they would not be happy either. They too would want a by pass. Most of the traffic going thought Wiscasset has other places to be and it’’’’s not sitting in stopped traffic watching people cross the street at well. One of the biggest problems that town has in the summer is Red’’’’s Eats. Some of the town people try to put the blame on the post office; that post office is not their problem. Damariscotta has a by pass, and it works very well for folks that don’’’’t need to stop in town. If people want to stop they will but if they don’’’’t there should be away around so they can be on their way. Truck drivers have loads to be delivered on time and should not be sitting in traffic waiting for someone to get across the only highway going up the coast. Thank you for your time Jerry - Gerald Miller Nobleboro
MDOT: Thanks very much for your comment.
- We need an interchange in Wiscasset for route 27 traffic from Augusta going south. It makes no sense bringing all that route 27 traffic into town (Wiscasset) especially truck traffic.- Richard Grondin Wiscasset
MDOT: Thanks very much for your comment.
What are the driving distances of all of the Rt. 1 options, including the current Rt. 1 path? (obviously, starting point and ending point needs to be the same for all options)- Bert Campbell Wiscasset
MDOT: The driving distance for N2-N8c is 3.2 miles, N2/N2h/N2f-1 is 4.1 miles, N2/N2h/N2f-2 is 4.4 miles, N2/N2h is 4.7 miles and N2/N2a/N2h is the longest at 5.1 miles. This means that the shortest alternative would take 4.2 minutes to drive, and the longest 6.7 minutes.
- First, you comment prcess is poor. The characters in the image are unclear e.g. o or 0. Second, the public feels that you have waited too long. Please get something done. Wiscasset is making the midcoast a summer nightmare and place to avoid.- Richard L. Gelwick Harpswell
MDOT: Thank you for your comment.
- Maine government from the Governor down should not allow any more time and studies to be waisted at taxpayer expense. Pick the least expensive and quickest to build, and GET THE BYPASS BUILT! Taking as many years as it has to get to today leaves no government trust in the mind of taxpayers.- Peter Yesmentes Boothbay
MDOT: Thanks for your comment.
- i would like to have all the towns that are inconvenienced by wiscasset in the summer be able to have a vote or say in what happens. i read some of the comments from wiscasset residents that they don;t want it, but it hurts the rest of us more. for me to run to brunswick to get supplies for my business in the summer i have to plan on going all the way out around wiscasset. if you live in wiscasset it isn't that bad because you are allready home, you don't have to either sit in traffic for hours or go all the way around. please take a vote or comment from the rest of us before you make any final decisions. thank you jamie brinkler- jamie brinkler round pond
MDOT: The decision on the bypass will not be made by a voting process - and you do have a say in what happens. The decision will be made based on the information in the Environmental Impact Statement (which compares the impacts of each route in categories such as wetlands, wildlife, marine environment, historic, social and economic) and on feedback from the public at large. That's the purpose of the public comment period - and this website: to hear what the public has to say. Thanks for taking the time to comment.
- My friends and I have discussed the Wiscasset traffic problem many times and 100% of us agree that something must be done. It is difficult for us to intelligently choose the most efficient by-pass, but for the sake of the lovely town, there must be a better way. Damariscotta built a by-pass which works wonderfully and the town is thriving and doing well. I think Wiscasset would benefit by building a by-pass and the retail establishments would find their sales would increase. It would be wonderful to see the town once again become the "Prettiest village in Maine".- Sue Chambers South Bristol
MDOT: Thanks for your comment.
- Almost all of US Route 1 from Bath to Ellsworth is dysfunctional and dangerous. Accidents and deaths will only increase if nothing major is done to bring this highway into compliance for safety for the volume of traffic it handles. Case in point, When US Route 1 was last expanded, traffic volumes were safe enough for other roadways to intersect with it. Now, traffic volumes are too high for the hundreds of intersections along US Route 1. The problem? Cars coming from a side road wanting to turn left onto US Route 1 must wait and wait and wait, sometimes for up to 10 minutes. As the car waits to make a left turn onto US Route 1, another car approaches from the opposite direction wanting to move straight across US Route 1. Who really has the right of way? The car that has been waiting five minutes or the car headed straight across? Technically, the car headed straight across but, the car that has been waiting five minutes feels they have the right away as maybe, the car approaching from the opposite side. Add to that confusion, only a tiny window of open space to enter and cross US Route 1 and, someone gets killed, a son, daughter, child, toddler, friend, uncle, mother, cousin, grandparent, father. The midcoast is a very close community, we have already seen US Route 1 as a slaughterhouse. US Route 1 and Highway 90 through the midcoast have a higher death rate than i95. US Route 1 is obsolete and has been for 12 years. Building a by-pass around Wiscasset is a waist of money. It would have worked 50 years ago when it was first proposed but, the DOT, never moved on it. The time and need has come for a coastal interstate from Brunswick to Ellsworth. It is time for some creative thinking at the Maine DOT and Gateway 1. We saw the adds for desperation in Washington County. How would any business get established, even tourism with such an area so isolated? Yes, I understand the state does not have the money to build such a highway but, it didn't in 1947 when the Maine Turnpike was built. Adding tolls to existing free highways, is not a good idea as we have seen but, building a new highway supported by tolls would work, it just means someone in Augusta must actually work. Creating a Down East Transportation Authority would go a long way in building a strong economic foundation for areas now starving. A transportation authority could build a toll road to work in conjunction with US Route 1 bringing commerce to places now already by-passed because of congestion; Wiscasset, Camden, Ellsworth and Mt Desert and more. A toll highway could terminate at Ellsworth with a paying parking garage where tourists could pay tolls to drive to MDI, pay to park their car and take the Island Explorer to MDI, cutting congestion and pollution. Those with low incomes in the MDI area, could get a voucher to park in the garage and take the bus to work on MDI. Profits from the Down East Transportation Authority could go to buy small vans in villages like Wiscasset, Damariscotta, Waldoboro and others where for a small fee, people could be transported about. Elderly to the grocery store and medical situations, younger people who can't afford a car or gas, to work and appointments. It's an idea that can work and be supported for years to come. US Route 1 is a complete mess. You enter US Route 1 with a six lane divided exit highway from i295. The road drops a lane, drops being divided and shortly turns onto a two lane broken down side road only to open up about 2 miles later to a four lane divided highway. Who planned this? The same people who have been working on a Wiscasset by-pass? Don't even get me started on the multi million dollar by-pass around Brunswick. Talk about poor planning?With a state and DOT so short of money, why are we going to make things worse when we could dig ourselves out and move ahead. The Maine Turnpike was the first high speed highway built in this country. It is a model for interstate highway designs, what on earth happened to Maine? - Bill Damariscotta
MDOT: Thank you for your comment. It has been posted on the web site.
- Dear Sirs, I agree that a bypass of the center of Wiscasset would benefit those people, like myself, who make the long drive from points south to mid-coast Maine nearly every weekend each summer. During our 2 or 3-week long vacation in South Bristol, I would be far more likely to visit Wiscasset in order to browse antique shops, for example, if there wasn't the frustratingly slow traffic bottleneck at the bridge. I also would opt for a trip or two to Reed State Park or Popham Beach, something that we used to do every year, but now choose not to, because of the traffic on "beach days." It does seem that a bypass would reduce gasoline emissions from lines ofslow-moving cars in Wiscasset as well. I look forward to seeing the proposals for alternative routes. Thank you for the opportunity to comment. Karen Sweet- Karen Sweet South Bristol
MDOT: Thank you for your comment.
I believe MDOT's arguments about the congestion in Wiscasset not being caused by people crossing the street is ill-founded. The traffic moves thru town although slowly during July and August, but it does move. All to often it gets hung up because of the pedestrian congestion hanging around Red's Eats and the poor driver who has to slam on his brakes to keep from hitting someone who darts out unexpectedly. As a business owner in Wiscasset, I want that traffic coming through town, not avoiding it. We need people being able to see what is here and hope that they like what they see and stay awhile. All these towns along the coast depend on people coming thru them, not around them.Otherwise, I agree with some other people who suggested building a coastal interstate that passes by all the towns instead of picking them off one at a time and wasting more money. You are destroying a part of coastal Maine that is expected in the summertime. For a two month out of the year inconvenience, don't waste millions of dollars on something that is not needed. - Frank Risell Wiscasset
MDOT: Thank you for your comment.
- I would like to say that the current situation dramatically impacts our business and most of the businesses on the Boothbay Harbor Pennisula. The traffic slow down and back up caused by the current back up keeps people from returning to the region year after year. I favor the route that starts the earliest and ends where route 27 south and rt 1 meet- Ron Brann Boothbay Harbor
MDOT: Thank you for your comment.
- WE SO NEED THIS. CONSTANTLY GOING TO AND FROM THE AIRPORT , NEVER STOPPING IN WISCASSET TO SHOP OR RUN ERRANDS BECAUSE OF THE LONG WAIT.- jann jaffe So. Bristol
MDOT: Thanks for your comment.
- have you considered a tunnel under rt1 for people use only..?? and or a traffic officer. a by pass would open up the town for more tourist use similar to damariscotta. it would also cut emissions. - grant wheeler south bristol
MDOT: Several people have suggested a pedestrian overpass or tunnel. While this might solve the problem for pedestrians, it would not solve the traffic congestion issue for vehicles, as it is the number of vehicles that are causing congestion, not pedestrians crossing the street. Good point about emissions. That data has been collected in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, and you are correct.
- Comment: An alternative route is critical to the overall enjoyment of the Mid-Coast. I have been coming to maine since I was a child and currently own 2 cottages on St. John's bay and a condo in Portland. We spend July and August at our cottages every summer and expect to spend September and October there as well now that our children are off to college. We have spent up to a hour tring to get across the current bridge. It has become so bad now that we plan our trips for early morning and evening. We used to love visiting Wiscasset, but now view it as difficult and risky, and even though it takes more time, we now head North to the Rockport area rather than risk Wiscasset traffic. Please, do something ASAP. It gets worse one year to the next.- Michael Jaffe South Bristol
MDOT: Thanks for your comment.
Save your money! It's too late for the bypass anyway.What we need is a limited access highway from Bath to Belfast, then later beyond.This coastal highway would give access to all the coastal communities,preserve their way of life, eliminate the need to bypass other towns and provide commercial access to the Down East areas,growing this part of the state and eventually the north.- Stephen A. Giles Boothbay
MDOT: This suggestion has been made in the past. Unfortunately, Maine does not have access to the kind of transportation funds it would take to make such a major infrastructure investment, which would cost multiple hundreds of millions of dollars. Existing funds will barely cover maintenance of existing infrastructure. This is because of the combination of decreasing Federal transportation funding all over the country, and the steadily increasing cost of construction, much of which is petroleum based. MaineDOT is going to have to look at bonds, tolls, or some other kind of funding to build any new roads or bridges over the next decades.
How soon will there be one (or more) preferred alternative(s) identified and how will you solicit public comments at that stage of the process? What are you doing to solicit comments from seasonal residents and visitors (the source of vital tourist dollars)since this public comment period falls in the off season?- Linda Spock South Bristol
MDOT: The public comment period on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) goes until December 21 of this year. After this, the MaineDOT and the community Task Force will evalute the comments and MaineDOT will make changes to the DEIS based on comments received. The Task Force will also work with MaineDOT to try to come to an agreement on the best of the routes that are on the table. Regardless of whether an agreement is reached, MaineDOT will make a decision on a single preferred alternative, and send it to the Federal Highway Administration for concurrence. The decisoin will be included in the Final Draft Enviromental Impact Statement. We hope this decision - and the final document - will be available by the middle of next year. All of our outreach efforts include media, the web site and meetings. While the meetings are not readily available to tourists or seasonal residents, many seasonal residents subscribe to local media and can register an official comment on this web site. In addition, members of the Task Force represent tourism and seasonal homeowner interests: the executive director of the Boothbay Region Chamber of Commerce, the Town Manager of Boothbay Harbor, one of the Bootbay selectmen, and a representative from Westport Island are all on the Task Force and all have stakeholders in those categories.
- Has anyone proposed building a pedestrian overpass? Even if there were two, one at the top of the hill and one at the bottom it would be a lot less disruptive and expensive than building a highway bypass. The other option could be tunnels,which might be easier for handicapped access. Traffic would still be slow but would not have to come to a stop allow people to cross the road. - rachel reck southport
MDOT: While both these solutions would help people to cross the street, it would not remove the through-traffic from downtown Wiscasset, which is much of the cause of the congestion. The safety of people trying to cross is certainly an issue, but the fumes, noise and vibration of the traffic is a significant negative to downtown residents and shopowners. As a result, simply making pedestrian crossing safer and easier would not solve the entire problem that is plaguing the region. Please note that most people seem to be concerned with the congestion issue.
- As a former MDOT Legal Investigator who has extensively traveled the Rte. 1 corridor, experiencing seasonal delays in various coastal towns along the way. It is my opinion that a Wiscasset bypass at this late stage is merely a bandaid. Any serious fix should take future traffic density into consideration and be done right the first time. The only solution that makes sense to me is to build a coastal interstate extention from Brunswick to at least Ellsworth with exits to be determined. Property owners along the potential Wiscasset routes are already upset. Why repeat this process over and over as the choke point moves downeast? Doing it right the first time would promote early growth along the projected route, give those in harm's way time to pursue options, save money over bandaid projects, and take through traffic right out of the coastal local equation. - Duey Graham Waldoboro
MDOT: Thank you for your comment, Mr. Graham.
- For many years we have chosen to never shop in Wiscasset because they don't support a bypass. We know people who will drive to Gardiner to avoid the summer bottleneck. And with the current emphasis on the environment, what a waste of gasoline. MDOT needs to get this project off the ground asap. It will only get worse every year.- p barnes thomaston
MDOT: Thanks for your comment.
My husband and I own are very concerned about the Edgecomb interchange at Route 1 and Route 27. We own the Edgecomb U.S. Post Office and adjacent apartments that we recently purchased and extensively renovated which share the entrance on Cross Road adjacent to Route 27. How will you address our concerns and have you been in contact with the U.S. Postal Service about how this area will be affected by the proposed bypass plan? I would appreciate notification of the meetings as soon as they are set so that we may attend. Thank you very much. Susan and Jay Smith, P.O. Box 140, Nobleboro ME 04555-0140- Susan J Smith Res: Nobleboro
MDOT: Ms. Chubbuck, Thank you for your comment.
- It still makes no sense to me that a Southern Route is off the able at this time. The Westport bridge was built to be part of the bypass and the resistance of the residents to a bridge is no longer as strong or valid as before. This option should be reexamined as it is shorter, less disruptive to the environment and ultimately less expensive to build. Thankyou.- John Stevens Newcaste
MDOT: Mr. Stevens, If you will look at Appendix A in the DEIS, you will see details of the reasons why the southern routes were discarded. A southern route may be shorter, but initial estimates showed it to be significantly more expensive than current options due to the type of bridge that would be required. Thank your for your comment.
There is "broad-based community support" for a bypass-any bypass-everywhere but Wiscasset, apparently. There may never be such support for a single route. The DOT should get input (probably enough, already) make a decision, then just do it. You won't be able to find a route that pleases everyone. - Colton Babcock Newcastle
MDOT: Thank you for your comment.
MDOT and All Concerned, Thank you for producing this well-considered approach. I strongly support any approach that produces the best result for the most people and the long-term sustainability of the ecosystem and, at the same time, the regional economy. Further, the effects of this study will go well beyond the immediate alignments being considered. Therefore, I applaud you including several towns not immediately on the routes themselves. After study of the documentation, I may have more comments; however, for the record, I do not and have not understood why more alignments were not considered more seriously. Nevertheless, these are the cards we have been dealt. Most sincerely, Dan Thompson Former Vice Chair of Planning, Lincoln County Former Town Planner, Wiscasset. Current Member, Economic Development Council of Maine Current Member, Community Advisory Panel, Maine Yankee Current President, Advanced Management Catalyst Inc. Grandfather of eight, who all live within 20 miles of Wiscasset.- Daniel H. Thompson South Bristol
MDOT: Mr. Thompson, Thank you for your kinds words and comment. If you look in Appendix A of the DEIS, you will find a description of all the routes that were evaluated and an explanation of why each was taken off the list. This may help to answer your question. Thanks.
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