FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 28, 2013
Construction Starts on Pathways & Safe Routes to School Pedestrian Crossings in Three Neighborhoods
PORTLAND, Maine – Starting later this week and continuing through the summer, the City of Portland in partnership with the Maine Department of Transportation will construct multiple Safe Routes to School funded projects in three neighborhoods, East End, East Deering and North Deering. First, construction will begin in the East End on two shared-use pathway projects that also include enhancing safe pedestrian and bicycle crossings at two locations (see attached graphics).
The first project will widen the existing 5’ wide sidewalk along Washington Avenue from the Eastern Prom to connect to the pathway on the I-295 Exit 8 southbound off-ramp. The project will construct a 10’ shared-use path separated from the roadway by a 4’-6’ wide grassed esplanade. The crossing of Washington Avenue at Eastern Promenade will also be enhanced by a pedestrian refuge island and pedestrian-activated flashers.
The second project reconfigures the ramp from Washington Avenue to Anderson and Plowman Streets to include a 10’ wide shared-use pathway. The crossing of the ramp at Washington Avenue will be enhanced by shortening the crossing distance, higher visibility crosswalk markings, and adding pedestrian-activated flashers. This path will create bicycle and pedestrian access to and from East Bayside and the Bayside Trail to Munjoy Hill and Tukey’s Bridge/the Back Cove Trail/East Deering.
While work is underway on these two projects, bicyclists and pedestrians will generally be required to use alternate routes to access the shared-use pathway on Tukey’s Bridge and the Back Cove Trail from the East End. Signs will direct path users to use alternate routes when access is closed within the work area. Work is expected to be complete in four weeks.
The third project, scheduled to begin in July, will enhance two existing pedestrian crossings serving the Presumpscot Elementary School in East Deering. Both crossing locations will have ADA-compliant curb ramps installed, pedestrian refuge islands constructed, and add pedestrian-activated flashers.
The fourth project, also to be completed in July, will upgrade the existing pedestrian warning/crosswalk signs at the crosswalk across Washington Avenue at Maine Avenue with a pedestrian-activated flasher system.
While the projects are underway, motorists are advised to be mindful of pedestrians and bicyclists in the work zone. Motor vehicle traffic will be maintained through each of the work zones.
The projects are funded with a combination of federal, state and local Safe Routes to School funds targeted to create a safer walking and bicycling environment for elementary and middle school students.