Saco Route 112 /Exit 36 Area Transportation Study
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The Saco Route 112 / Exit 36 Area Transportation Studywas launched in April 2018 and will conclude early in 2019. This study will evaluate short and long-term solutions to the morning and evening traffic congestion that occurson Route 112 and surrounding roads. Study recommendations will also include bicycle and pedestrian improvements at key locations.
The 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.
Local and regional transportation issues in the Exit 36 / Route 112 area have been well documented over the past several years. The earlier Route 112 Corridor Update Study highlighted multiple issues that impede local and regional mobility and contribute to safety problems. These include:
- The area experiences directional imbalances in peak hour traffic flows due to commuter trips
- Several unsignalized intersections along Route 112 typically experience long vehicle delays: Spring Street, Franklin Street, Tasker Street, Garfield Street, Lund Road, and Jenkins Road.
- Several intersections along Route 112 qualify for turn lanes.
- Cut-through traffic between Route 5 and Route 112 impacts local neighborhoods and residents’ quality of life.
- Route 112 lacks adequate and safe bicycle and pedestrian facilities.
- There are two documented high crash locations in the study area. (Route 112/Garfield Street and Route 112/Franklin Street)
- Industrial Park Road provides access to I-195 and the Maine Turnpike and carries a significant amount of traffic. Prior studies document very poor level-of-service conditions, with extreme delays projected by 2020.
- The Route 112 corridor provides access from downtown Saco to the Buxton and western York County communities and is strongly affected by traffic from Route 5 and the Industrial Park Road. Traffic originating or destined for the Turnpike from western York County communities creates traffic congestion along the route.
- Exit 36 to and from the north serves as the primary interchange for travel to Downtown Biddeford.
- During the afternoon commute PM Peak hour congestion on the Turnpike southbound onto Exit 36 creates delays and safety concerns and will continue to worsen in the future.
This previous analysis produced a range of short and long-term 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. None of these have been evaluated as to their effectiveness in improving traffic patterns, or for environmental and cultural resource impacts. Additionally, cost estimates need to be developed. The Saco Route 112 /Exit 36 Area Study will provide this broad range of information, giving the City, the Maine Turnpike Authority and MaineDOT officials the facts needed to make effective short and long-term decisions on improving traffic flow and safety in the area.
First Opportunity for the Public to Learn and Comment: June 14
There will be multiple 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 on June 14 with a public listening session at Saco City Hall Auditorium, 300 Main Street, from 6:00-7:30 pm. This meeting will provide and overview of the study and current conditions in the area, and will focus on gathering feedback 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.
This web page will provide information on the study as it progresses and also allow people to comment directly on an ongoing basis. Send your comments and feedback here.
The second public meeting will take place in October, at which time the results of the analysis and draft recommendations will be discussed. Please sign up here if you would like to get ongoing updates on meetings and study progress.
PURPOSE AND NEED STATEMENT
The Purpose of the Study is to evaluate and identify long-term solutions to regional transportation issues associated with westerly connections in the vicinity of I-95 at Exit 36. Specifically, the purpose of the Study is to evaluate the potential for managing and improving access to Route 112, making safety improvements at intersections, maintaining and improving easy access to and from the Turnpike, and separating local and through traffic as much as practicable.
All potential solutions are subject to balancing statewide mobility and safety needs and funding availability.
DATE ACTION RESPONSIBLE
March 29 Project Kick Off
March 6 -April 20 Review Available Data and Data Collection
Program (Complete supplemental traffic counts in June)
June 5 Assessment of Current Conditions Completed
June 14 Public Meeting #1 – Website Launch
August 17 Assessment of Future Scenarios Completed
October 5 Develop Preliminary Recommendations
October 11 Public Meeting # 2
February 1, 2019 Final Report Complete