HOLDEN – Road construction is planned for one of the state’s busiest roadways.
The Maine Department of Transportation is extending the center turning lane on Route 1A in Holden in an effort to make things safer.
“We’ve seen six accidents so far this year. So once every two and a half days we’re responding to a car accident in Holden. Frankly, the majority of those are on Route 1A,” Holden Police Chief Chris Greeley said.
There were a total of 43 crashes between 2014 and 2016 along the two stretches of Route 1A being widened, according to the MDOT’s Office of Safety Director.
The first section starts near Maine Military Supply and runs to Copeland Hill Road. The second stretches from the town office to Bagaduce Road.
“We’ve noticed a large number of rear-end type collisions and a continuous two-way left turn lane helps to alleviate some of those crashes. … I think this is a good solution for reducing many of those types of collisions. We’ve had a number of them have resulted in injuries to the occupant,” said Bob Skehan of the MDOT.
“Businesses seem to be excited about it. It’s an opportunity for a queuing lane for folks to turn left or right into their business or out of their business. And hopefully, it will ease the congestion during the summer months when folks are heading to Bar Harbor,” Skehan said.
“If it helps to mitigate any safety concerns with accidents and things, it’s a benefit,” he said.
“We’re a travel through town to get Downeast. We’re a travel through town to get to Bangor. So we see traffic from both directions and of course, in the summertime, we see many, many, many out-of-staters,” Holden Town Manager Ben Breadmore said.
There is no word yet on when the construction will start or how long it will last.