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U.S. Route 1 in Maine: Map

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In the U.S. state of Mainemarker, U.S. Route 1 is a major north-south state highway serving the eastern part of the state. It parallels the Atlantic Oceanmarker from New Hampshiremarker north through Portlandmarker, Brunswickmarker, and Belfastmarker to Calaismarker, and then the St. Croix Rivermarker and the rest of the Canadian border via Houltonmarker to Fort Kentmarker. The portion along the ocean, known as the Coastal Route, provides a scenic alternate to Interstate 95.

Route description

Route 1 enters Maine from New Hampshiremarker by bridging the Piscataqua River at Kitterymarker. Following the sandy southern Maine coast, the highway bridges the Cape Neddick River in Cape Neddickmarker, Josias River and Ogunquit River in Ogunquitmarker, the Webhannet Rivermarker in Wellsmarker, and Merriland River, Mousam Rivermarker and Kennebunk Rivermarker in Kennebunkmarker. After bridging the Saco Rivermarker between Biddefordmarker and Sacomarker the highway bridges the Nonesuch Rivermarker in Scarboroughmarker.

In South Portlandmarker, US 1 merges with I-295 at exit 4 and continues north through downtown Portlandmarker to Tukey's Bridge, now on I-295, before separating at exit 9. The Charles Loring Highway is part of US 1 in Portland, Maine. Like Loring Air Force Basemarker it is named for Charles J. Loring, Jr..

North of Portland, the highway bridges the Presumpscot Rivermarker in Falmouthmarker, the Royal River in Yarmouthmarker, and the Cousins River in Freeportmarker before following the Androscoggin River through Brunswickmarker and bridging the Kennebec River between Bathmarker and Woolwichmarker. The highway bridges the Sheepscot Rivermarker in Wiscassetmarker, the Damariscotta Rivermarker in Damariscottamarker, the Medomak Rivermarker in Waldoboromarker, and the Saint George River in Thomastonmarker before reaching Rocklandmarker. From Brunswick to Bath, the route immediately becomes a limited-access road, which is rare for routes in Maine.

The highway follows the coast of Penobscot Baymarker bridging the Goose River in Rockportmarker, the Ducktrap River in Lincolnvillemarker, the Little River in Northportmarker, and the Passagassawakeag River in Belfastmarker before bridging the Penobscot River at Bucksport. The Atlantic coast is less frequently visible as the highway bridges the Orland River in Orlandmarker, the Union Rivermarker in Ellsworthmarker, Sullivan Harbormarker, the Narraguagus River in Cherryfieldmarker, the Harrington River in Harringtonmarker, the Pleasant River at Columbia Fallsmarker, the Indian Rivermarker in Addisonmarker, and the Chandler Rivermarker in Jonesboromarker.

After bridging the East Machias River and Machias Rivermarker in Machiasmarker the highway turns inland along Passamaquoddy Baymarker to bridge the Orange River in Whitingmarker, the Dennys River in Dennysvillemarker and the Pennamaquan River in Pembrokemarker. The highway then follows the Saint Croix Rivermarker through Calaismarker and turns inland at Woodlandmarker. The interior route bridges Grand Falls Flowage at Princetonmarker, the Meduxnekeag River in Houltonmarker, the North Branch Meduxnekeag River in Monticellomarker, and the Aroostook Rivermarker in Presque Islemarker before following the Saint John Rivermarker upstream from Van Burenmarker to Fort Kentmarker.

History

US 1 south of Calais was initially part of the Atlantic Highway, and became Route 1 when the New England road marking system was established in 1922. The northward continuation from Calais was later designated as part of Route 24. In the original plan, Route 24 was to run from Brunswickmarker to Moosehead Lakemarker in Greenvillemarker. By 1925, however, Maine had transferred the Route 24 designation to a completely new alignment on the eastern edge of the state, running from Calaismarker to Madawaskamarker at a border crossing with Edmundstonmarker, New Brunswickmarker.

The initial 1925 plan for the U.S. Highway system took US 1 along the better-quality inland route (then Route 15) between Bangormarker and Houlton, and placed US 2 on the coastal route. This changed in the final 1926 plan, when the inland shortcut — now generally followed by Interstate 95 - became part of US 2.

The Waldo-Hancock Bridgemarker opened in 1931, allowing US 1 to bypass Bangormarker; the old route became US 1A.

The portion between Portland and Brunswickmarker was rebuilt, mainly as a four-lane divided highway, in the 1950s, and later absorbed into I-95 (now I-295). A freeway from Brunswick east to Bathmarker was built in the 1960s.

References

  1. New York Times, Motor Sign Uniformity, April 16, 1922, p. 98
  2. Rand McNally Auto Road Atlas, 1926, accessed via the Broer Map Library
  3. Report of Joint Board on Interstate Highways, October 30, 1925, Approved by the Secretary of Agriculture, November 18, 1925
  4. United States System of Highways, November 11, 1926
  5. Maine Department of Transportation, Waldo-Hancock Bridge, accessed October 2007



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