Monthly: January 2021

Latest News

Eastern Trail Announces 2021 Maine Lighthouse Ride

The Eastern Trail is excited to announce that we will host the 2021 Maine Lighthouse Ride.

This event is increasingly popular with Mainers as well as friends and supporters from all over the country. The scheduled date for the event is September 11, 2021, and online registration is planned to begin on March 1, 2021.

“We are looking forward to organizing the annual Maine Lighthouse Ride”, said Bob Hamblen, Eastern Trail Alliance President, “which will help us learn how to adapt to a difficult situation and at the same time offer up a world-class recreational opportunity.” The Alliance is also considering options to include a companion walking/running event during the Lighthouse Ride on the Eastern Trail itself, which offers opportunity for COVID-friendly events over a larger geographic area.

In addition to the Maine Lighthouse Ride, the Alliance also plans to strategically re-start additional long-standing events to provide recreational opportunities and financial support to build new trail and maintain existing trail. Jon Kachmar, Executive Director of the Eastern Trail, remarked on the “tremendous excitement building for working with partners and supporters of the MEND Autumn and Ales 10k, John Andrews Classic 5K run as well as the Alliance’s annual Gala.” It is hoped that re-starting these familiar events will help people and communities along the Eastern Trail by providing a healthful and fun recreational opportunity as well as an economic stimulus for the cities and towns who have access to use the trial.  Check the Events page for updates on dates and registration information for these additional events.

The Eastern Trail is a planned 65-mile off-road multi-use trail from South Portland to Kittery, Maine, of which 23 miles has been built to date. The trail provides local, state and regional benefits through recreational trail opportunities, alternative transportation options, and community engagement in Southern Maine. The Eastern Trail’s three primary campaigns include trail-building efforts: Close the Gap in Scarborough and South Portland, Over the River through downtown Biddeford and Saco, and Blazing the Trail South from Kennebunk to the New Hampshire border.

Latest News

Pandemic’s effects leave road project planners guessing what’s around the corner

By Edward D. Murphy | Posted January 25, 2021

Maine’s transportation planners are getting ready to work on construction and maintenance projects for 2021, but with a lot more questions than normal.

How will finances be affected by the coronavirus pandemic? Will traffic on Maine roads rebound as more people get vaccinated? When should the state Department of Transportation and its contractors schedule work to avoid inconveniencing commuters, residents and visitors?

The department has even coined a term for all the uncertainty: “business unusual.”

Maine Transportation Commissioner Bruce Van Note said his department had to be nimble to adjust to changes in 2020. Construction prices were originally so high that much of the work planned for last year was stretched out over two years.

Then, when the pandemic hit and traffic plummeted – often to half its normal level – the department found that it could change construction schedules to save money. Work done during the day is cheaper and usually more efficient, and some projects that were planned for the offseason could be done during warmer weather because the roads weren’t as clogged.

The pandemic even helped put a lid on construction price increases, and a drought allowed the department to stretch the construction season into the fall.

[Content removed from original article for spatial considerations]

Some of the major projects planned for 2021 mean that drivers in southern Maine can expect to see work on two bridges carrying traffic on Interstate 295 over Route 1 in Yarmouth, reconstruction of the Congress Square intersection in Portland, work on the Eastern Trail in Scarborough and improvements to the railroad siding and platform for Amtrak Downeaster rail service in Wells. Those four projects alone will cost more than $54 million.

You can read the entire article on-line here.

Latest News

Eastern Trail Alliance hosts full moon walk

The organization hosts a tour through Scarborough Marsh, providing information about the area and Eastern Trail.

BY CATHERINE BART  | SCARBOROUGH LEADER  | Posted

Carole Brush, former Eastern Trail Alliance executive director, leads a group of 15 or so people each month through the Scarborough Marsh portion of the trail. The group is able to see the full moon clearly and learn about the area and trail history. Catherine Bart photo

SCARBOROUGH — Because of the leap year, 2020 had one more full moon than usual, and a group of spectators gathered at Scarborough Marsh on the Eastern Trail to see.

On Dec. 29, the Eastern Trail Alliance staff, led by former Executive Director Carole Brush and joined by Jon Kachmar, the current executive director, hosted the last of 2020’s full moon walk events, where a small group of people walked through the marsh and saw the clear moon.

Brush said that the moon of that evening is commonly referred to as the Cold Moon. She also discussed the history of the trail and provided information about the section of trail through the Scarborough Marsh.

The Eastern Trail Alliance formed in 1998, but the Scarborough Marsh bridge and trail didn’t open until 2004, she said.

Eagle Scouts have often completed projects on the trails, Brush said, and one such project is in the creation of a bench that overlooks the marsh.

You can read the entire article online here.