2013-06-21 / Front Page

Payne Road opens with new traffic pattern

By Michael Kelley Staff Writer

A new connection between Payne Road and Route 1 has changed the traffic pattern in Dunstan Corner. (Michael Kelley photo) A new connection between Payne Road and Route 1 has changed the traffic pattern in Dunstan Corner. (Michael Kelley photo) Traffic moving through the Dunstan Corner will flow a little bit differently now. Earlier this week, the new Route 1 and Payne Road connection—between the Dunstan School House Restaurant and the antiques shop next door opened.

The Payne Road connection, which opened Monday, June 17, is part of a $2.8 million project by the Maine Department of Transportation to improve Dunstan Corner. Construction, which was done by R.J. Grondin and Sons, started in September and is expected to be completed within the next month.

The heavily traveled and often congested area of town has been eyed for improvements for some time.

One of the issues is the fact that the traffic lights at the intersection of Payne Road and Route 1 and Route 1 and Broadturn and Pine Point roads are separated by just a few hundred feet and often cause traffic tie-ups, especially in the summer months.

The new Payne Road connection will allow plenty of room for vehicles to queue up as they turn left on Pine Point Road and left on Payne Road.

A number of other improvement efforts, including paving and utility upgrades were part of the project.

Now that the new road is open, town officials and officials from the Maine Department of Transportation are working hard to alert motorists that the traffic pattern through Dunstan Corner has been altered.

Town Planner Dan Bacon said advanced road signage will warn both northbound and southbound motorists of the new traffic pattern.

There will also be signage by Exit 42 on the Maine Turnpike, a short drive from the new intersection.

“There will be additional reader board signs along Route 1 and Exit 42 to notify people that the change is happening and they might want to use Haigis Parkway to access Route 1 rather than Payne Road,” Bacon said.

“We will have some signage further up Payne Road to give drivers an opportunity to make some adjustments to their route if they need,” said Mike Shaw, director of the Department of Public Works.

Shaw added road markings and traffic lights should help with “channeling traffic in the right direction.”

Shaw said most of the motorists who regularly pass through that section of Scarborough have known the change was coming eventually.

“I think the folks constantly using Payne Road and the folks who are tourists are aware a change is coming and now it is coming quickly. Hopefully (the transition) will be smoother than we all think,” Shaw said.

Shane Amoroso, who is serving as the project’s engineer for the Maine Department of Education, said while the majority of the project is complete, there is still work that needs to get done.

Amoroso said after the Fourth of July holiday, crews will begin doing the final surface paving on Route 1 and sections of Broadturn Road, Pine Point Road and the new Payne Road. That work, he estimated, will be done by mid- July.

“The project has pretty much remained on schedule since we started, but there was some extra work that needed to get done that pushed it back into July, but that was not really anyone’s fault. Everything has gone pretty smoothly,” he said.

Bacon said now that the new road is open, work will begin to officially close of the prior connection of Route 1 and Payne Road.

The connection, Bacon said, will be curbed and landscaped, essentially making that stretch of Payne Road a dead end.

“The final product once construction is complete is going to be curbed. It is going to be loomed and seeded,” Bacon said.

“Visually it is not going to look like there was a road there,” Bacon added. “It is going to be completely closed off.”

Amoroso said right now the road has been barricaded and arrow signs alert motorists they have to take a left turn around the Dunstan Schoolhouse Restaurant to connect from Payne Road to Route 1.

Eventually, he said, that sign will be removed and the new flow of that end of Payne Road will be clear to motorists.

“There will be a piece of curbing placed there and behind the curbing there has been some talk about some evergreen plantings to fill the view so you don’t really see Route 1 and give a definite indication there is no longer a road there,” Amoroso said. Want to comment on this story? Login to our website at leader.mainelymediallc.com and let us know your

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