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Portland Area Mainline (PAM) Improvements - Public Advisory Committee (PAC)

Portland Mainline Needs Assessment (2017)

The Maine Turnpike Authority (MTA) launched a formal needs assessment to determine how to address growing safety and capacity challenges on the Portland-area section of the Turnpike, from Scarborough to Falmouth.Study Area Map
Last year the MTA completed an evaluation of most of the Turnpike’s length, which revealed that traffic on the Portland-area section has been increasing to the point where safety and mobility is becoming compromised. The evaluation was based on data through 2014. Since then, traffic volumes in this section of the Turnpike have been growing at between three and five percent a year and are now at record highs.
The needs assessment will gather and evaluate updated data through 2016 and result in recommendations for improvement.
This section of I-95 is a critical piece of the overall transportation network of Greater Portland.   It provides access to the businesses, cities and towns that form Maine’s primary economic engine, efficiently links travelers to modal choices like the Portland Jetport, and provides sustainable mobility for travelers looking to pass through the region.  High mobility on this stretch of highway reduces traffic volumes on I-295 through Portland, as well as other area roads, making some of them more viable for pedestrian-scale, complete street concepts.
Turnpike customers pay extra to travel on a safe, convenient, well-maintained highway that is reasonably free from chronic congestion and capacity problems.  The Turnpike’s goal is to meet these customer expectations, and anticipate and resolve problems before they reach a crisis point.
The scope of work for this needs assessment will include a detailed examination of existing conditions including crash data, traffic volumes and operating conditions, as well as development of an accurate forecast of future traffic growth and future operations.  Once detailed data has been collected and analyzed, feasible solutions will be identified and assessed. Here is the full scope of work.
A public advisory committee (PAC) has been formed to assist the MTA in identifying and evaluating solutions to the safety and capacity challenges. Four PAC meetings will take place, between now and the first part of 2018. These meetings will be held at Maine Turnpike Authority headquarters (see map below) and are open to the public, with time set aside at the end for public comments and questions.  The roster of PAC members can be found here.

Alternatives Analysis

In April, the Turnpike Authority completed an analysis of fifteen potential solutions to the increasing number of vehicles using the Portland-area section of the turnpike. These include increasing the availability of public transit, adding more park-and-ride lots and encouraging people to rideshare, increasing tolls during peak travel hours, adding more lanes to the Turnpike between Scarborough and Falmouth, and widening other major highways such as I-295. Click here to see the analysis, as well as a detailed matrix showing how each option compared to the other options.

Portland Area Mainline Needs Assessment Report

Portland Area Mainline Needs Assessment Report, including draft recommendations, is now complete. Below are links to the executive summary, the full report and appendices.

Portland Area Mainline Needs Assessment - Executive Summary 
Portland Area Mainline Needs Assessment - Full Report
Portland Area Mainline Needs Assessment - Appendices