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September 26, 2018

Wiscasset group to promote downtown during DOT construction

File photo / Jim Neuger The Wiscasset Village Working Group plans to promote the downtown to mitigate the impact of a Maine Department of Transportation's construction project on Route 1, which goes through the heart of the town.

The Wiscasset Village Working Group is looking to promote the downtown to mitigate the impact of a Maine Department of Transportation’s construction project on Route 1.

The Lincoln County News reported the group was formed by the Lincoln County Regional Planning Commission and the Wiscasset Area Chamber of Commerce. Under consideration are signs, social media, events and business promotions.

MDOT’s construction project is designed to improve traffic flow and safety on Route 1 through downtown Wiscasset. Last year, the project was cited by Maine Preservation as a threat to the town's historic district. A FAQs page on the MDOT website about the Wiscasset project notes that eliminating on-street parking in downtown Wiscasset is a key element of its preferred option for improving traffic flow in what has historically been a significant Route 1 bottleneck during the peak summer tourism season.

In March 2018, the town of Wiscasset filed a request for preliminary injunction asking that MDOT be prevented from starting any work on its project — including removing parking spaces — until it gets the green light from the Wiscasset Historic Preservation Commission.

But in April 2018, more than 65% of Wiscasset voters voted against continuing the town’s lawsuit.

Construction has begun. Maine DOT is posting weekly updates on the project here.

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