The highly awaited update to the Maine Department of Transportation’s Three-Year Plan shows significant funding for road and highways safety improvements in Windham and Raymond for 2022 and extending through 2024.
According to state officials, the estimated overall value of work in the statewide plan totals $3.17 billion and includes more than 2,316 individual work items. This represents a substantial increase from last year for planned highway projects because of an increase in anticipated federal funding.
State Highway Fund revenue sources are derived from state per-gallon fuel fees and motor vehicle fees. In this new Three-Year Plan, that equates to an estimated $882 million and represents about 28 percent of the total value of MDOT Work Plan items. Article IX, Section 19 of the Maine Constitution requires that Highway Fund revenues be used for specific highway- and bridge-related activities and other road maintenance such as snow removal.
MDOT Commissioner Bruce A. Van Note said that approval of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill in 2021 by Congress and the president has boosted funding for Maine’s highways.
“In short, once funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill begins to flow, it will be good for transportation in Maine and could be very good depending upon the rules and policies related to competitive discretionary grants, but it is not a panacea,” Van Note said. “MaineDOT is cautiously optimistic that with the continued help of our federal delegation, grant funding can allow us to make meaningful investments in our iconic New England villages, connecting corridors, modal options that support the people who need them, active transportation, and initiatives that support jobs and the environment including port investments to support a clean energy future.”
Van Note said MDOT is appreciative that increases in funding will benefit Maine’s highways and bridges.
"Action at the federal, state, and local levels may mean that we may soon be able to transition from 'MacGyver' mode toward a more proactive approach," he said. “It's too early to tell; we need to know more about goals that affect the scope of our work, construction costs, and the extent and sustainability of new funding. Still, for the first time in many years, it feels like we can begin to consider moving from reactive patching to proactive planning."
For Windham in 2022, new projects funded by MDOT include:
** $450,000 for construction of a new off-road bicycle and pedestrian path running from Bridge Street in Westbrook to the Route 202 crossing in Windham.
** $1.45 million for the installation of adaptive traffic signals along Route 302 beginning at Route 115 and extending northwest 1.14 miles to Trails End Road.
** $525,000 for creation of a new bicycle/pedestrian on-road sidewalk with safety improvements on Route 202 from Depot Street north 0.23 of a mile extending to the Mountain Division trail crossing.
For 2023 and 2024, Windham projects funded in the Three-Year Plan are:
** $1.5 million for replacing Varney’s Bridge over the Pleasant River on William Knight Road.
** $3.1 million for construction of a new sidewalk on the west side of Route 302 from Shaw’s Access Drive extending 0.48 of a mile north to Amato Drive.
** $156,000 for making highway safety improvements to the Route 302 and Albion Road intersection.
** $85,000 for repaving and rehabilitation of the Route 302 and Route 202 roundabout.
For 2022 in Raymond, MDOT has funded an $850,000 project under the Municipal Partnership Initiative Program for highway rehabilitation from Main Street extending north 0.45 of a mile to Route 121.
For 2023 and 2024 in Raymond, funding of $37,000 and $124,000 has been designated for making capital improvements to the Frye Island ferry service between Raymond and Frye Island. <