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Gorham Connector Alternatives Analysis


What is the Gorham Connector?

The Gorham Connector is a proposed new toll road that would link the Maine Turnpike at Exit 45 to the Gorham Bypass off Route 114 in Gorham. 

Why is MTA pursuing this project now?

The affected communities and the Legislature have been asking for this road for fifteen years. State roads – Routes 114/22 – are at capacity and commuter traffic is spilling over into neighborhood roads, like McLellan and Day Roads in Gorham, Running Hill Road in South Portland, and Beech Ridge Road in Scarborough.

What is the history of this project?

The idea of improved road connections between Portland and areas west has been contemplated since 1988. More recently, in 2007, the communities of Gorham, Scarborough, South Portland and Westbrook signed a joint resolution requesting MTA to assess the feasibility of a new Turnpike connector linking the Gorham Bypass with the Maine Turnpike. The Legislature also passed a companion resolution at that time. As a result, in 2012, a major feasibility study came up with three clear recommendations:
  • To create a significant increase in transit ridership and bus routes,
  • For municipalities to create pockets of housing and commercial density that could cost-effectively use transit,
  • To increase road capacity – Greater Portland's role as southern Maine's economic driver as well as the area's proximity to Boston – indicated that the region would continue to experience strong growth in the coming decades.
In 2017, the four communities reiterated their support and the Legislature reauthorized the request for action.  In November 2019, the MTA Board unanimously authorized MTA to move forward on the initial environmental studies, selected land acquisition and public outreach planning for the Connector.
Again in January and February of this year, the four communities reiterated their support and desire to be part of the planning process by signing a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) in support of building the road and pledging to promote land use strategies that are effective in making the road sustainable for the long term.

MTA is continuing to work to determine financial feasibility (design, cost, potential toll pricing) of a new road, and is gathering environmental and property owner data needed to determine possible locations. This information is necessary before MTA makes a decides whether to pursue a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Maine Department of Environmental Protection. 


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