by Bob LaNigra
[Note: This article appeared in the Late Fall 2013 Newsletter. The full newsletter can be viewed in this pdf document]
What is all that construction going on in Scarborough??
You may have noticed considerable evidence of construction at the Pine Point Road and Black Point Road intersections with the ET. I talked with the Scarborough Town Planner, Dan Bacon, and learned that the town has funded upwards of $400,000 for construction at those crucial points to improve traffic flow and, more important, to ensure the safety of pedestrians and bikers using the Eastern Trail.
A new sidewalk is being installed along Black Point Road, from Route1 to Eastern Road, which is the road leading to the trail. The crosswalk is being built to better connect the Eastern Trail with businesses at Oak Hill and the schools along Route 114. This concrete sidewalk will be six-feet wide, which is wider than normal, to accommodate both pedestrians and bikers. A flashing light will be installed at the intersection of Black Point Road and Eastern Road, aiming to slow motorist down for safer crossing of Black Point Road. As another safety measure, street lighting will be improved to make pedestrians and bicyclists more visible. Finally, new curbing and landscaping will be installed.
Similar projects are happening along Pine Point Road: upgrades to the sidewalk from Dunstan corner at Route 1, and installation of a flashing light at the Pine Point intersection of the trail. An asphalt apron has already been installed on the trail on either side of Pine Point Road. In
addition, the town took advantage of this construction work to increase the bollard widths at the south portion of the trail from 32 and 37 inch widths to approximately 40 inch width to accommodate adaptive bikes, baby carriages and wheel chairs.
Both projects should be completed by the end of November or early December.
As considerable as these projects are, Scarborough is investing still more time and energy in a grander addition to the trail. Members of the town have been working with the MDOT on a major project to complete the Eastern Trail within its town boundaries by closing the .8 mile gap from the Nonesuch River (at the end of Eastern Road) to the Wainwright Recreation area in South Portland. The engineering design should be completed by the end of this year. Then the next big challenge will be to get funding to construct the project, which may take several more years. The town recently hosted a presentation on the preliminary design for this section of trail. A video from the meeting is available on Scarborough’s website.
Thank you, Town of Scarborough, for your foresight and for continuing to invest in the future of the Eastern Trail. Clearly, the town believes in the benefits of the trail and is willing to support that belief with investments in money and resources.
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