Low-lying sections of Route 1 along the Scarborough Marsh would be raised 4 feet as part of the flood prevention project. Contributed / Maine DOT

The state has preliminary plans to prevent flooding of Route 1 and Pine Point Road in Scarborough by raising sections of those roads by 4 feet.

The low-lying sections abutting the Scarborough Marsh – about one mile of Route 1 from the Admiral Inn to Haigis Parkway and three-quarters of a mile of Pine Point Road/Route 9 from Primrose Lane past the Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center – frequently flood and are sometimes impassable in heavy rain storms such as the December storm last year.

Without the work, “it is assumed that the inundation of Route 1 and Route 9 would continue to happen,” according to Ernie Martin, project manager at Maine DOT.

The project remains a few years away.

“Currently, the projects are funded only for preliminary engineering and some right-of-way funding,” Martin wrote in an email to The Forecaster. Construction funding won’t be considered until final designs are completed, likely in 2025.

That section of Route 1 that would be raised is used by roughly 23,000 vehicles per day, according to Maine DOT, and about 8,200 vehicles travel daily on the Route 9 section. The project will require adjustments to several properties, including bringing the parking lot of the Audubon Center, and the Eastern Trail where it intersects with Route 9, up to the new level of the road.


The state is also working on a study of the Scarborough Marsh.

“This will further assist the projects’ development and its drainage design efforts,” Martin said. “The intent of the 4-foot raise in road heights is assumed to manage future inundation to (the) year 2100.”

“This isn’t the only resiliency project the town is working on,” Jami Fitch, the town’s sustainability coordinator, said at a public meeting on the project earlier this month.

Projects on the horizon include conserving more land so the marsh “has more room to move as sea levels rise” and identifying other vulnerable road crossings.

“There’s a lot going into the marsh that we need to be thinking about,” she said. “This is just one part of it.”

Route 1 through the Scarborough Marsh was flooded and impassable for 36 hours because of a Dec. 23, 2022, storm. Contributed / Maine DOT

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