$44 Million Allocated for Phase II of Presque Isle Bypass Project
The Maine Department of Transportation will receive $44.1 million from the federal government to complete Phase II of a commercial bypass route of Presque Isle’s Main Street.
The construction of a 6.3-mile-long, two-lane highway will connect U.S. Route 1 south of the city to the current bypass section already in service. The first section of the bypass, which opened in June 2019, connects Conant Road in Presque Isle with Fort Road.
Details of Phase II of Presque Isle Main Street Bypass
The second phase of the project will include a new interchange at Route 1 and the Conant Road, truck climbing lanes, four new overpasses to grade-separate the bypass from Henderson Road, Easton Road, Conant Road and the rail line, box culverts, and multi-use trail crossings at Conant Road and Henderson Road, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT).
U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Ranking Member of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee said the project will complete the bypass intended to divert large semi-trailer trucks from Presque Isle’s Main Street.
“U.S. Route 1 is a vital transportation corridor that many Mainers rely on every day to get to work, go to school, and access health care and other essential services. By supporting the next phase of the Presque Isle bypass, this funding will help keep the largest trucks off downtown streets, making it safer and easier for residents to reach local businesses,” said Senator Collins.
A news release from the USDOT announcing the funding said “creating a limited access bypass of downtown Presque Isle will allow traffic to avoid 147 commercial and residential driveways, 25 street intersections, 12 crosswalks, nine stoplights and one railroad crossing. The bypass will reduce truck traffic at five known high-crash locations in the project area and will also reduce emissions from traffic idling at intersections in town.”
The $44.1 million in funding was awarded through the bipartisan Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) competitive grant program. The stated purpose of the program is to help communities invest in high-priority projects to fix crumbling infrastructure, to make transportation systems safer, to eliminate supply chain bottlenecks and improve movement of critical freight.
Sen. Collins said the project will “enhance Maine’s transportation system in Aroostook County … preserve and create jobs, and deliver direct benefits to families and businesses.”