LINCOLN, Maine — Dunkin’ Donuts and S.W. Collins Hardware will construct buildings along West Broadway this spring as town officials await the completion of a traffic study that they hope will lead to more businesses locating there, they said Tuesday.
About a half-dozen light manufacturing or retail businesses have inquired about buying land on West Broadway over the last five years, said Ruth Birtz, the town’s economic development director. They turned away due to a state law that would require businesses that would draw 100 or more vehicles per hour to build a turning or a center lane into West Broadway. The businesses found the expense prohibitive, she said.
Town officials hope to use the traffic counts from the $6,900 study as part of talks with the Maine Department of Transportation that could lead to DOT sharing costs on any road widening needed on West Broadway, Birtz said. David Cole, a former Maine DOT commissioner, is doing the study.
The Town Council approved the expense because further developing West Broadway is vital to the Lincoln Lakes Region economy, council Chairman Steve Clay said.
“To get things going you need a traffic study there to see if [more third lanes] are needed on West Broadway,” Clay said Tuesday. “It is just the first step in a long process, but if we put in a third lane or two there it would open up West Broadway [for more business] like we have never been able to do before.”
Birtz said that, per orders from the MDOT, Dunkin’ Donuts will deposit $80,000 into an escrow account that will go toward road widening, if the study determines it is needed, or toward the relocation of curbs that will allow traffic to flow more easily through West Broadway, which is also known as Route 2. A turning lane already exists along West Broadway in front of Walmart and several adjoining businesses.
S.W. Collins will have outlets onto West Broadway and Penobscot Valley Avenue. Both businesses will begin construction in the spring. Neither have set opening dates, said Birtz, who called their continuing plans to come into Lincoln, despite December’s layoff of 200 Lincoln Paper and Tissue LLC mill workers, a sign of the town’s robust economy.
The Planning Board approved business permits for both ventures during its meeting on Jan. 20.