Archive for the ‘Gorham Maine Transportation’ Category

USM Students Moving Into Dorms Ahead Of Classes

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

GORHAM, Maine (AP) ― Incoming students at the University of Southern Maine are moving into their dorms.

USM officials say nearly 500 freshmen and transfer students are moving into residence halls on Saturday at the university’s campus in Gorham. University President Selma Bottman plans to be there to greet them and their families.

Upperclassmen are moving in on Sunday morning.

In all, USM this year is expecting about 925 freshmen and an equal number of transfer students this fall.

Classes begin on Monday at USM, which has campuses in Gorham and Portland.

Windham stocks its pantry shelves

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

WINDHAM, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Windham’s food pantry is once again stocked up after a major push for donations over the last few weeks.

The pantry teamed up with Senator Bill Diamond and Representatives Mark Bryant and Gary Plummer to get the word out about low donations during the summer months.

Over the past few weeks the pantry has collected more than $10,000, and during a food drive Saturday, collected about 5,000 pounds of food.

Madeline Roberts, with the food pantry, says the food will help them feed area families for the next four months. She says they’ll hold another food drive around Christmas.

4 tornadoes touch down in New England

Friday, August 6th, 2010

GORHAM, Maine — Four separate funnel clouds made contact in New England, the National Weather Service confirmed.

In Maine, tornadoes touched down in Gorham, Limerick and Alfred.

According to the National Weather Service, the tornado that stuck Gorham on Wednesday started as an EF0 before strengthening to an EF1 with winds up to 110 miles per hour.

“I couldn’t believe it, I mean this is something we don’t ever see around here,” said Shawn Barden, a witness.

The twister bounced westward through a neighborhood, where it ripped apart trees and threw a swing set and trampoline.

“Trees started falling but we couldn’t hear the tree fall cause the wind was so loud,” said Mackenzie Collins, another witness.

The tornado destroyed two barns and killed two heads of cattle; Norm Justice’s historic barn was one of them.

“It was on the tree line there and I could see it forming. It came quit,” said Norm Justice.

Two other twisters touched down in Maine on Wednesday, including one in Hollis.

On average, the state of Maine sees just two tornadoes per year.

A tornado was also confirmed in Bristol, Conn.

High winds damaged homes and the heavy rain was too much for the city sewers.

The National Weather Service reportedly also investigated reports of funnel clouds in New Hampshire and Vermont.

No injuries were reported in any of the tornadoes.

Payne Road solution approved, funding an issue

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

By David Harry
Staff Writer

Plans to alleviate congestion at two Route 1 intersections will soon be submitted to the agency that provides funding for such projects.
But according to Paul Niehoff, a transportation planner with the Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System, it will be a while before rubber hits the newly improved road.
On Oct. 21, town councilors approved 6-1 a resolution calling for an amended plan to improve the intersections at Dunstan Corner while also improving the intersection of Haigis Parkway and Route 1, which is about two miles north.
The plan calls for additional left turn lanes from northbound Route 1 to Broadturn Road and Haigis Parkway, an extended turn lane from southbound Route 1 to Pine Point Road, additional right turn lanes to Route 1 from Pine Point Road and Haigis Parkway, and altering a plan to reduce traffic on Payne Road in favor of Route 1 and Haigis Parkway.
The last portion of the proposal provides the most dramatic change to plans Town Planner Dan Bacon said have been considered since 2002.
Efforts to reduce traffic on Payne Road by 20 percent could lead to the construction of a connecting road from Route 1 beginning to the north of Dunstan Corner restaurant.
The proposed road would arc behind the restaurant and end at Payne Road instead of an original idea to have the connector road meet with Payne Road further north at a point across Phelps Brook, said traffic engineer Bill Bray.
The change in routing the connector road reduces the cost of work in the area from at least $6.1 million to about $3 million and could allow for funding $2 million of improvements to the Haigis Parkway and Route 1 intersection.
“That intersection will fail in 2015 if you don’t do anything,” Bray said Route 1 and Haigis Parkway, because increased traffic in the area will lead to traffic jams caused in part by turning traffic lined up.
By adding a second left turn lane from northbound Route 1 and right and left turn lanes from Haigis Parkway to Route 1, traffic jams can be alleviated, Bray said.
The resolution supports a plan that puts an end to the idea of closing one end of Payne Road. That possibility was discussed by a committee formed by councilor Ron Ahlquist last winter in response to complaints about congestion and speeding on Payne Road.
Closing Payne Road at its southern end was opposed by business owners and some residents, including Jack Flaherty of Flaherty Family Farms, who feared the loss of traffic would put him out of business.
Ahlquist’s contention that Payne Road is primarily a residential road was disputed, and the council has temporarily set aside discussions of what can be done to control traffic on Payne Road.
In May 2008, the town received a $180,000 grant from PACTS to begin traffic studies at Dunstan Corner, and Town Manager Tom Hall said $60,000 to $70,000 in matching town money is committed to the study. With the submission of the plans to PACTS, a study by engineers with the Maine Department of Transportation can begin.
Because PACTS officials made the grant to study the intersection, Niehoff said funding the construction work in the next biannual budget cycle starting in fiscal year 2011 was a strong possibility.
But there are 15 towns, from Freeport to the north, Biddeford to the south and Gorham to the west, competing for PACTS grants, which totaled about $14 million in the current biennial budget, Niehoff said.
Projects funded by PACTS usually use about 65 percent federal highway funds, 10 percent state highway funds and the rest in local money, Niehoff said.
Even then, Niehoff said, buying the rights of way and getting the permits to build the roads can take a long time.
“It could take a few years,” Niehoff said about construction work starting.
The resolution passed by a 6-1 vote with Councilor Karen D’Andrea opposing it. It was a decision she said troubled her because she would not be happy voting for or against it.
“We should be looking at ways to lessen traffic through public transportation infrastructure,” D’Andrea said before her vote.