The Gorham East-West Corridor Study is a major new transportation and land use study of the corridor immediately west of Portland. This is the location of what has historically been the fastest-growing residential market in Maine. (See study area map.) The current crisis in transportation funding, added to rising energy and highway construction costs, makes this a good time to take a step back and fully evaluate the range of opportunities available for this corridor. The study’s goal will be to evaluate all the options and find the right package of alternatives to protect homeowners’ quality of life over the long term, without adding excess transportation capacity.

There are no predetermination outcomes in this study. All transportation and land use ideas and alternatives will be considered during the study process.

In Maine’s Sensible Transportation Policy Act, a parallel goal is to ensure that transportation dollars invested by the Maine Turnpike Authority and MaineDOT be coordinated with local land use management and economic development efforts to assure that every opportunity for extending the life of the transportation investment is taken. For the land use components of this study, the Study Team will use the policies adopted by PACTS in Destination Tomorrow, the long range transportation plan (www.pactsplan.org/destination_tomorrow/)

Gorham, Westbrook, Scarborough and South Portland signed a joint resolution in 2007 asking for such a study, specifically to assess the feasibility of a new Turnpike Spur that will connect to the new Gorham Bypass. The resolution states that existing ways to manage traffic congestion, such as widening roads and adding turning lanes, will have a negative effect on their downtowns, village centers and neighborhoods. Both Maine Turnpike Authority and Maine Department of Transportation officials believe that integrating all modes of transportation (transit, bike, pedestrian) is an integral part of the study. Click here to see the Legislative Directive from the 123rd Legislature that authorized this study.

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