Eastern Trail Feasibility Studies

An important part of many of our Eastern Trail development campaigns is the Feasibility Study Process.  Concept plans and feasibility studies help to create the vision for a trail project, evaluate the project’s potential and establish guidelines for its implementation. The process works closely with local organizations and elected officials, holding community meetings, workshops and training sessions as necessary to achieve these objectives.  The feasibility study helps us to establish a clear framework for a project’s implementation following the concept plan and feasibility phase, including the sources of and schedule for funding, and project management.

This process has several important components:

  • The identified purpose, which defines the specific trail development effort that is being undertaken.
  • The focus of the study, including study limits and challenge.
  • One or more public meetings, which often identify the study area limits, review the existing conditions within the study area, and solicit input from the community to help guide the alternatives evaluation process and better understand local ideas or concerns.

A feasibility study involves many important partners, including but not limited to municipalities within the study area, the Eastern Trail Alliance (ETA), Eastern Trail Management District (ETMD), Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) and a third party hired to help conduct the feasibility study.  Studies are part of a Public Partnership Initiative (PPI) between the Municipalities, the Eastern Trail, and MaineDOT. The PPI process encourages soliciting the valuable input of local residents, businesses, and other stakeholders to better understand the needs of the community.

Two Feasibility Studies for key sections of the Eastern Trail were completed in 2022:

1) ET Feasibility Study for Biddeford/Saco (West Cole Road in Biddeford to Thornton Academy in Saco):

Saco Biddeford Study Area MapVHB (a civil engineering company in South Portland, Maine) completed this study, as part of a Public Partnership Initiative (PPI) between the Municipalities, the Eastern Trail, and MaineDOT. The PPI process encourages the solicitation of valuable input of local residents, businesses, and other stakeholders to better understand the needs of the community.

The study’s purpose was to assess the feasibility of connecting the two existing Eastern Trail off-road segments between West Cole Road in Biddeford and Thornton Academy in Saco.

  • This feasibility study was completed in August 2022 – go here to view the final report.
  • Two public meetings were held to review progress and obtain public input and comment:
    • The first online public meeting for this study was held November 30th, 2021. Go here for more information on what was covered at this meeting.
    • The second online public meeting for this study was held March 8, 2022. Go here for more information on what was covered at this meeting.

2) ET Feasibility Study for North Berwick, Wells, and Kennebunk (Route 9 in North Berwick to Perry Oliver Road in Wells and Alfred Road to Alewive Road in Kennebunk):

ET Study Area Map N Berwick-Wells-KennebunkVHB (a civil engineering company in South Portland, Maine) completed this study, as part of a Public Partnership Initiative (PPI) between the Municipalities, the Eastern Trail, and MaineDOT. The PPI process encourages the solicitation of valuable input of local residents, businesses, and other stakeholders to better understand the needs of the community.

The study’s purpose was to assess the feasibility of connecting the two existing Eastern Trail off-road segments between West Cole Road in Biddeford and Thornton Academy in Saco.