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Gorham Connector Alternatives Analysis

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What is the Gorham Connector?

The Gorham Connector is a proposed new toll road that would link the Maine Turnpike at Exit 45 to the Gorham Bypass off Route 114 in Gorham. 

 

Why is MTA pursuing this project now?

There is a long history around this concept. The idea of improved road connections between Portland and areas west has been contemplated since 1988. More recently, in 2007, the communities of Gorham, Scarborough, South Portland and Westbrook signed a joint resolution requesting MTA to assess the feasibility of a new Turnpike connector linking the Gorham Bypass with the Maine Turnpike. The Legislature also passed a companion resolution at that time. As a result, in 2012, a major feasibility study came up with three clear recommendations:

  • a significant increase in transit ridership and bus routes
  • a concerted effort by municipalities to create pockets of housing and commercial density that could cost-effectively use transit, and
  • an increase in road capacity--Greater Portland's role as southern Maine's economic driver, as well as the area's proximity to Boston, indicated that the region would continue to experience strong growth in the coming decades. 

In 2017, the communities and the Legislature reauthorized the request for action.  In November 2019, the MTA Board unanimously authorized MTA to move forward on the initial environmental studies, selected land acquisition and public outreach planning for the Connector.

Since then, the COVID-19 pandemic created challenges to these tasks, but MTA has been working to determine financial feasibility (cost, potential toll pricing) of a new road, and gathering environmental and property owner data needed to determine possible locations. This information is necessary before MTA makes a decision as to whether to pursue a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Maine Department of Environmental Protection. 

 

GIS Storymap

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Public Involvement

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