A new traffic concept for the Running Hill Road area in Scarborough will be the topic of a public meeting next week.

The idea calls for an intersection that would encourage drivers on Running Hill Road to use a proposed new highway to connect to Route 114, also known as Gorham Road. The three-way intersection would be designed so drivers on Running Hill Road would tend to be directed onto the new highway, even though they could continue along Running Hill Road.

Town officials have been working on a plan to deal with heavy traffic between communities to the west and the Maine Turnpike and Maine Mall areas. With about 7,000 vehicles on Running Hill Road daily, town officials say the road cannot handle such traffic volume and speeds.

“Running Hill Road was sort of a country road that wasn’t built to handle that kind of traffic,” said Town Planner Dan Bacon.

Tuesday’s meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers in the Municipal Building.

The new plan emerged after town officials received mixed reaction on a different version last year. The earlier proposal would have cut Running Hill Road in two, possibly with a cul-de-sac east of New Road. The west end of Running Hill Road would have formed a loop with New Road to Gorham Road.

Some residents, however, said they appreciate having a direct route to the Maine Mall area.

The changes to the traffic patterns are expected to help the town direct development toward its eastern border and away from the west. The town rezoned the eastern area, around Running Hill Road, in 2008 to allow mixed commercial and higher-density residential uses.

The proposed road is part of Grondin Properties’ plan to develop the area. The road would be built east of New Road and run roughly parallel to it to provide access to 86 acres that are being eyed for mixed-use development.

That project remains in its conceptual phase but progress is possible this fall, said Ken Grondin, president of R.J. Grondin & Sons, the Gorham-based parent of Grondin Properties.

“We’re basically waiting for the market to come back.”

The idea is for the town and the developer to share the cost for upgrades beyond what Grondin Properties requires. Any cost-sharing plan would need approval from the Town Council.

Staff Writer Ann S. Kim can be contacted at 791-6383 or at:

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