SACO — City officials believe a proposed bypass road from Route 112 to the turnpike will curb safety concerns.

City officials have been talking with officials from the Maine Turnpike Authority, Maine Department of Transportation and Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System to address traffic issues associated with exit 36 of the Maine Turnpike that impact Industrial Park Road and the Route 112 corridor, according to City Administrator Kevin Sutherland.

More than 22,000 cars use the Route 112 and Industrial Park intersection, according to information from the city. Currently there are problems with traffic congestion and at times traffic is backed up at the toll plaza.

Several traffic studies have been done over the years and city officials believe the best solution to address traffic issues would be to build a road to bypass Route 112 that would provide direct access to exit 36 from the western side of the turnpike.

The proposed bypass would create a direct route from Route 112 to the highway and alleviate backed up traffic and safety concerns, say city officials.

City officials have drawn up a preliminary sketch for a route and discussed the idea at a council workshop Monday before sending the idea for review to the Maine Turnpike Authority.

Right now, “It’s just a conversation starter,” said Public Works Director Patrick Fox.

“It’s really just conceptual lines on paper,” he said.

At one time, there had been discussions to create a new exit on the Scarborough and Saco town line to help eliminate traffic problems, but the proposal was not well received by the Maine Transit Authority, according to Fox.

Sutherland said adding the proposed bypass road would be “a vast improvement.”

“I’m all for the idea,” said Councilor Alan Minthorn. “I think it should already be there.”

— Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 325 or [email protected]

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