2013-04-05 / Front Page

Planner: Final product of Dunstan work is within sight

By Michael Kelley Staff Writer


Work will continue this spring at the Dunstan Corner intersection. The project, started in late fall, is aimed at creating improved traffic flow through the heavily used intersection and will include a new access point to Payne Road, as well as some road widening, traffic signal work and underground infrastructure work. The project is expected to be completed by mid-July. (Michael Kelley photo) Work will continue this spring at the Dunstan Corner intersection. The project, started in late fall, is aimed at creating improved traffic flow through the heavily used intersection and will include a new access point to Payne Road, as well as some road widening, traffic signal work and underground infrastructure work. The project is expected to be completed by mid-July. (Michael Kelley photo) Scarborough Town Planner Dan Bacon said soon motorists moving through the Dunstan Corner section of town will begin to see major changes to the area.

In October, a multi-million project began to improve the Dunstan Corner intersection, a heavily-traveled area of town just north of Saco.

“The next few months is when you will begin to see the final product,” Bacon said.

The goal of the project, which is being completed by R.J. Grondin and Sons, a family owned construction company in Gorham, is aimed at easing the congestion that occurs in that area of town due to motorists using Payne Road to connect to the Maine Turnpike, Pine Point Road to head to the beach or Route 1 to travel north or southbound.

Over the past few months, Grondin has done a lot of underground work with drainage and stormwater management.

“Right now the big focus is water main work on Route 1, Pine Point Road and Broadturn Road, some of that work will be during the day and some of that work will be at night,” said Shane Amoroso, the resident engineer for the project.

Soon, however, the work will move above ground and include reworking traffic signals, widening roadways and change in where Payne Road connects with Route 1.

There is no timetable for when the existing Payne Road-Route 1 connection will be cut off in favor of the new connection, which will be located between the Dunstan Schoolhouse Restaurant and the antiques store next door.

Amoroso said ideally it would happen sometime in May. The groundwork for the new roadway has been completed.

During the summer months, traffic jams are common in that area of town due to traffic lights at Payne Road and Broadturn Road/Pine Point Road being separated by just a few hundred feet. Bacon said the new access point to Payne Road will provide plenty of separation between traffic turning left on Pine Point Road and traffic turning left on Payne Road.

“It’s not as much pressure on a short section of road,” Bacon said.

Amoroso said construction has stayed on schedule, even through the snowy winter the area had.

“I think it really went well since we started work last fall,” he said. “Everything is on schedule and we will hit where we want to be this spring.”

He said he expects heavy traffic and heavy delays in the area as work continues, but workers will try the best they can to keep traffic moving through by adhering to the requirements on when and where they can work.

The Maine Department of Transportation is funding the majority of the project; Scarborough will absorb roughly 20 percent of the cost.

The final cost of the improvements has not been determined, but Amoroso said it is a roughly $3 million project.

The project, Amoroso said, is expected to be completed by early to mid-July.

Bacon said once the project is done it will serve as a model for Sustain Southern Maine, an initiative of the Greater Portland Council of Governments.

In October 2010, Sustain Southern Maine received a $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to study selected areas around southern Maine to find ways for towns and cities to become more prosperous and attractive for businesses and residents.

Other areas of study include Gray Village in Gray; Steep Falls Village in Standish; Pride’s Corner in Westbrook; Mill Creek Shopping Center in South Portland; West Kennebunk Village in Kennebunk, the transportation center/ municipal center in Wells and the Foreside in Kittery.

“The Dunstan area was chosen because it has some history as one of the town crossroads, but also has some potential for growth,” Bacon said.

An all-day workshop with property owners in the Dunstan Corner area is scheduled for Tuesday, April 9. The outcome of that workshop session will be shared later this spring with members of the Planning Board, Town Council, Scarborough Economic Development Corporation and the Long Range Planning Committee.

The goal, Bacon said, is not to create a master plan for the area, but rather create a vision of how the area could be developed.

“It’s designed to spur some creativity and to think about what’s possible in Dunstan and what sort of niche Dunstan could fill for the area,” Bacon said.

Want to comment on this story? Login to our website at leader.mainelymediallc.com and let us know your thoughts.

Return to top