2018-06-07 / Community News

Public comment sought on traffic

Saco is seeking solutions to traffic congestion around the Route 112 corridor. Last month, the city launched a study designed to explore and evaluate solutions to the morning and evening congestion that occurs on Route 112 and surrounding roads.

Previous analysis produced a range of short and longterm potential solutions, which included improving intersections and traffic signals, restricting turn movements, widening Turnpike ramps, or constructing a new road between the turnpike and Route 112, among other ideas.

The study will take a closer look at these and other solutions to evaluate traffic patterns, gauge the extent of congestion relief, identify environmental and cultural impacts and estimate construction costs. The goal of the effort is to give the city, the Maine Turnpike Authority and Maine Department of Transportation officials the facts needed to make effective short and long-term decisions on improving traffic flow and public safety.

There will be many opportunities for the public to weigh in during the process, both on the challenges of moving through the area and on the pros and cons of potential solutions. The outreach will kick off at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 14 with a public meeting and listening session at Saco City Hall Auditorium, 300 Main St. City officials have requested to hear from those who live in the study area or travel through the corridor on a regular basis. A schedule, maps and the criteria that will guide the final decision-making process will be available.

The city will launch a page on its website devoted to the study, which will provide information on the study as it progresses and allow people to comment directly on an ongoing basis.

A second public meeting will take place in October to discuss the results of the analysis and the draft recommendations for improvements.

Goals of the study include improving access from side roads to Route 112, making safety improvements at intersections, improving easy access to and from the turnpike and separating local and through-traffic as much as is practical. A comprehensive transportation alternatives analysis will be performed. Study recommendations will also include bicycle and pedestrian improvements at key locations.

The study is scheduled to be completed early in 2019.

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