Acadia Gateway Center, other Maine transportation projects awarded federal funding

Posted Aug. 02, 2012, at 6:27 p.m.

TRENTON, Maine — Members of Maine’s congressional delegation announced Thursday that several planned transportation projects in Maine will receive federal funding, including the Acadia Gateway Center on Route 3.

The center already has a completed maintenance and transportation facility for the seasonal Island Explorer bus system, which provides fare-free transportation during the summer and fall on and around Mount Desert Island. Among the $2 million in federal transportation funding coming to Maine is $700,000 that will go toward final design and construction documents for additional phases of the Acadia Gateway Center. U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud and Sen. Susan Collins each issued statements Thursday on the project funding.

Officials with organizations involved in the Acadia Gateway Center — which included Maine Department of Transportation, Island Explorer and Acadia National Park — have said the next phases of the facility are expected to include 320 additional parking spaces for cars and similar vehicles and 10 spaces for larger recreational vehicles, and a building that has public restrooms, a welcome center and space for local Chamber organizations to provide information about area amenities outside the park. Initial planning and design work on these phases already has begun.

Attempts Thursday to contact officials at MDOT about the additional project funding were unsuccessful.

Other projects that are receiving Federal Highway Administration funding are:

  1. $580,000 for rehabilitation of the Littlefield Bridge in Auburn.
  2. $386,560 for visitor facilities on the Grindstone Scenic Byway in northern Penobscot County.
  3. $300,000 to go toward replacement of the Boundary Bridge in Bridgewater.
  4. $160,000 to preserve the Robyville Covered Bridge in Corinth.
  5. $112,400 for a bicycle and pedestrian trail at Indian Township.
  6. $54,048 to update the Old Canada Road management plan in Somerset County.
  7. $45,940 to improve rest areas on the Schoodic Byway in eastern Hancock County.
  8. $34,800 to update the Rangeley Lakes Scenic Byway management plan.
  9. $22,000 to update the Blackwoods Scenic Byway management plan in eastern Hancock County.

Collins also announced that $500,000 will be used to widen a reversible lane and to add bicycle and pedestrian facilities to Thompson’s Point Road in Portland, which is not in Michaud’s district.

Thursday’s announcement comes just days after Collins indicated that the Casco Bay Island Transit District, which provides ferry service to islands in Casco Bay off Portland, and the Maine State Ferry Service each will receive $1.2 million. The funds for Casco Bay service will be used to build a new passenger ferry, while the state ferry service will use its grant money to improve the ferry docking facility on Frenchboro off Mount Desert Island.

Follow BDN reporter Bill Trotter on Twitter at @billtrotter.

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