Maine DOT Program to Revitalize Downtown City

Governor Janet Mills (D) recently highlighted a new $34 million partnership between the City of Sanford and the Maine Department of Transportation that will revitalize that city’s downtown area.

[Above photo by Maine DOT]

The agency said its Downtown Sanford Village Partnership Initiative would rehabilitate key infrastructure and enhance roads, sidewalks, and streetlights in Sanford’s commercial center.

The investment will help to make downtown Sanford safer and more attractive for commercial and residential development, improve parking, and construct a much-needed park and ride facility for hundreds of residents that commute daily to work at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery.

Gov. Mills. Photo by the Maine Governor’s Office.

Sanford is one of several former mill communities statewide that has suffered from decades of disinvestment. Outdated roads and sidewalks make pedestrian travel unsafe and contribute to traffic challenges. Lack of parking and inadequate street lighting pose a challenge to those looking to open or conduct business in the downtown commercial district, Maine DOT said.

Funding invested by the Downtown Sanford Village Partnership Initiative will enable the city to update streets, curbs, and sidewalks, make crosswalks more accessible, and construct parking spaces that can accommodate electric vehicles. The project will also modernize utility ducts and improve drainage with modern stormwater filtration.

The project will also construct a new 80-spot park and ride facility between Main Street and Shawmut Avenue geared toward helping to improve carpool options for workers at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard as well as other area employers.

Maine DOT said federal funds help support this new partnership, including a $25 million Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity or RAISE grant combined with roughly $7.1 million in matching funds from the Maine DOT and the City of Sanford.

“We are pleased that our work with the City of Sanford helped us secure new discretionary grant funding that will benefit the people who live, work, and travel here,” said Maine DOT Commissioner Bruce Van Note in a statement.

“This is a great example of how collaboration and partnerships can lead to projects that can compete for and win grant funding to make once-in-a-generation investments in Maine communities,” he said.

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