In 2021, the Town of Scarborough, The Downs, and the Maine Department of Transportation partnered up to establish a $13.5 million project to improve and address traffic issues in Scarborough and into South Portland. Through the project, 37 intersections are being changed for safety, traffic flow, and walkability.

“We share the Town of Scarborough’s questions and concerns over how would increased development in our community continue to impact the traffic issues that have plagued us for probably more than a decade,” said Diana Nelson on behalf of The Downs. “We all live here, we all work here, so we also feel like it’s part of our responsibility since we are developing The Downs to taking a holistic approach to solving these very long standing traffic issues that have existed far before The Downs even started to be developed.”

The Downs is contributing $8.2 million, with $3 million coming from the Department of Transportation, and $2.8 million from the Town of Scarborough.  The funding from Scarborough is allocated from previously collected impact fees and not from taxpayer funding.

“The Downs Development is required to mitigate their traffic impacts, which includes not only Scarborough corridors and intersections, but corridors into the City of South Portland,” said Angela Blanchette, town engineer for Scarborough. “Work associated with this project will span over 5 years, with construction activity that began in 2022.”

Several improvements have already been made, or will be done, by early 2023. These changes include a widening of Payne Road, an update to the Holmes/Downs and Payne intersection, a safety upgrade to Bridges Drive, and lane expansions and safety improvements at Haigis Parkway/exit 42 . Adaptive stoplights that respond to motion will be established along Route 1 from Green Acres to Municipal drive and will be reconfigured as a coordinated network.

“Along Route 1, with the full installation of new adaptive traffic signal technology later this winter, the traffic signals from Municipal Drive all the way to Green Acres Lane will be modernized, better coordinated and be able to ‘adapt’ to the traffic volumes and flow in the corridor, which can make a significant improvement to the flow of traffic and responsiveness of traffic signals to the needs of each intersection – making it easier and safer to travel along Route 1,” said Dan Bacon, director of development at The Downs.


By the end of 2023, further improvements will be done. These include intersection updates on Route 1, Downs Road, Black Point Road, and Gorham Road with turn lanes and new sidewalks and crosswalks. Adaptive traffic lights will also be installed at Eight Corners and in north Scarborough.

By the end of 2024, improvements will be made to the intersection and Payne and Mussey Road with new traffic signal and turn lanes. Adaptive lights configured as a coordinated network will also be installed from Downs/Holmes roads to Gorham/Maine Mall roads.

By 2026, new sidewalks along Haigis Parkway to First Look Plaza, the beacon apartments, and Scarborough Gateway will be added.

“The reason why the Downs is leading the effort is obviously we have a really large impact on the future of this community,” said Nelson. “And we want to make sure we are doing everything right and that we are putting the community’s needs first. So we have already taken into account increased traffic that could come as a result of IDEXX coming, of Costco coming, and the future of the town center. Certainly that’s going to bring an increased number of people coming to our community. So all the task improvements that have been approved and are under way now are looking ahead to the future. They’re not just solving the problems that exist today, they are planning for any potential increase in traffic because of the destination we’re creating.”

More information is available at, as well as on an interactive map at

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