Plans for a 2-mile pathway in Cape Elizabeth, improvements to Scarborough’s Dunstan Corner and a pedestrian connection from the new Bayside Trail to the Back Cove Trail in Portland stand to benefit from more than $20 million that has been allotted for transportation projects in southern Maine.

The Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System has announced that 30 projects, from Biddeford to Freeport, will receive a total of $20.2 million over the next five years.

Though the money won’t cover the entire cost of every project, it can move projects forward, said John Duncan, the system’s director.

Duncan said PACTS receives an allocation of money every two years, most from the federal government and some from the Maine Department of Transportation.

Representatives from the system’s 15 member communities and seven public transportation systems spend months sifting through funding requests, selecting the projects they feel are most worthy.

A 25 percent local share is required for each project funded by PACTS.

Duncan said the projects can vary widely in their scope and purpose. For instance, Casco Bay Lines will receive $112,000 to modernize its ferry ticketing system.

Operations Manager Nicholas Mavodones Jr. said tickets could be scanned, providing the ferry service with real time data on where people are going. The money may also go toward putting ticket kiosks outside the ferry terminal on Portland’s waterfront.

In Cape Elizabeth, the construction of a 2-mile pathway along busy Shore Road is expected to cost just under $1 million. The 5-foot-wide path for runners, walkers and cyclists would connect Fort Williams Park with the town center.

A citizens group called Safe Access for Everyone hopes to raise most of the money through state grants. The local share of the project would be $200,000.

Safe Access for Everyone says it has raised about $75,000 of that, and now the project will receive $40,000 from PACTS.

Town Manager Mike McGovern said the project has been authorized by the Town Council, but probably won’t be built before 2012. “This ($40,000 from PACTS) would be a credit toward the project.”

Improvements to one of the busiest intersections in southern Maine — Dunstan Corner in Scarborough — got the largest allocation from PACTS, $3 million.

Duncan said even that won’t pay the entire cost of widening the intersection of routes 1 and 9, Broadturn Road and Payne Road.

Duncan said the money for some of the projects, like widening Dunstan Corner and the pedestrian connection to the Back Cove Trail in Portland, cannot be spent until October 2011.

Duncan said PACTS allocated $195,000 to establish the pedestrian connection between Back Cove and Bayside trails at Marginal Way and Franklin Street.

But the state has said the connection, part of a much bigger project to improve the intersection of Marginal Way and Franklin Street, will have to wait until studies are done to show that such a connection would not endanger pedestrians.

Shares of the $20 million will also pay for new bus shelters and a bus in Biddeford and Saco, and for road paving in Falmouth, Freeport, Portland, Saco, South Portland and Westbrook.

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at: [email protected]