Road construction season is just around the corner, and there is a lot going on in Scarborough. Ten road projects are scheduled to begin this year. Half of the projects are associated with The Downs development and are required as part of their Traffic Movement Permit (TMP) with the Maine Department of Transportation. The Downs is required to complete these upcoming projects to reduce the impact of traffic that will be created by their development.

MaineDOT estimates the addition of housing and commercial businesses at The Downs will generate approximately 2,500 new trips during morning peak commuting hours and 3,300 trips in the evening peak commuting hours once the site is fully developed. To manage this additional traffic on state and local roads, MaineDOT and the Scarborough Planning Board require The Downs developers to complete road and intersection projects. Improvements began in 2022 and are required to be finished by the end of 2026. During this time, approximately 30 intersections along the Route One corridor, Payne Road, 8-corners, and in North Scarborough will be addressed.

There are five major projects in The Downs’ TMP scheduled for construction in 2023:

1. Traffic signal upgrades, including the installation of Adaptive “Smart” Traffic Signals, along Route One from Sawyer Road to Haigis Parkway, Gorham Road at County Road, Gorham Road at Beech Ridge Road, and at the Mussey Road/8-corners intersections.

2. Improve the Route One and Scarborough Downs intersection, including widening turn lanes, installing the fourth (eastern) leg of the intersection, new sidewalks and crosswalks, and contributing funds to MaineDOT for a bus shelter/stop.

3. Oak Hill improvements, including new raised islands to replace the concrete islands on Route One and similar raised islands on Black Point Road and Gorham Road to reduce crashes due to left-turning traffic at driveways.


4. Adding permanent road markings to improve traffic flow through the Route One/Haigis Parkway intersection.

5. County Road and Gorham Road intersection improvements, including constructing an alternating merge for westbound County Road traffic, complete with markings and overhead signage.

Additional information about The Downs’ TMP is available on the Town’s website.

In 2021 the Town Council passed a resolution to provide some Traffic Impact Fees collected from other developments to use towards The Downs’ TMP projects to help address existing traffic issues. Scarborough’s Traffic Impact Fee Ordinances were first passed in 1990 as a way to collect fees associated with increased traffic from development. The Town currently has Traffic Impact Fee Districts for the Oak Hill intersection, Dunstan Corner, Haigis Parkway at Route One, and the Payne Road corridor, including Gorham Road from Payne Road west and the 8-corners intersections. Each new development or redeveloped property that increases traffic in these Districts is required to pay a Traffic Impact Fee. This method aims to share the burden of traffic improvements among all developers in Town, instead of putting the burden on the last one impacting the intersections.

In addition to the planned construction projects, the Town is embarking on a Townwide Transportation Network Study in 2023. Funding for the Study was supported by the Town Council in the current year’s budget and will identify existing and future traffic problem areas. It will also establish a plan to enhance our traffic and transportation network and identify areas of analysis and further study, which may warrant additional Traffic Impact Fee Districts to be established.

With the number of planned transportation projects, the Town of Scarborough created a map on its website to show the scope and specifics of projects happening currently and in coming years. Projects are categorized by the entity conducting the work: MaineDOT, private developers, and the Town (Engineering and the Public Works Departments). The Transportation Improvement Map is available on the Engineering and Technical Services Department section of the Town’s website.

Subscribe to the Town Newsletter at to learn more about upcoming transportation projects and opportunities for public input.

Comments are not available on this story.