A report from the Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System is looking down the road at Greater Portland's transportation infrastructure, outlining 22 investments to be explored and implemented over the next 10 years. The 22 x '22 report highlights a list of transportation studies, both completed and in progress, from PACTS, the Maine Department of Transportation and the Maine Turnpike Authority.
Ranging from investments in paving and bridge repair to long-term transportation infrastructure changes for Route 1, I-295 and the turnpike, the report calls for $851 million to be spent on such projects over the next decade including investments and improvements to sidewalks, trails, buses, ferries, bridges, roads, interstate highways and train service.
"The Greater Portland economy needs to be ready when the economy kicks into gear. We will need roads, bridges, rail, trails and transit systems that will serve our growing region and enable us to travel safely, efficiently and productively," reads the report's introduction. In a press release, PACTS Director John Duncan said the group hopes the report's priorities "encourage the Legislature and the public to support adequate state funding for transportation."
Having identified $227 million in funding so far, PACTS is still seeking $624 million in further investments. Projected to create upwards of 11,000 jobs over the next 10 years, the 22 projects would funnel $608 million to highways and bridges, $36 million to rail projects, $25 million to bike and pedestrian initiatives and $5 million to alternative fuel infrastructure.
Some of the more expensive projects addressed in the report include $180 million in paving/rehabilitation of the region's 204 miles of collector roads, a Gorham East-West corridor study ringing in at $181 million, $97 million in improvements to Greater Portland's slice of the Maine Turnpike and $90 million in bridge projects.
Other projects include restoration of freight rail service between Baldwin and Portland -- a $23 million project that the MaineDOT failed to secure federal funding for in 2011 -- $49 million to replace aging buses and ferries, and $50 million to rehabilitate Greater Portland's 140 miles of aging arterial roads.