J A M E S W A L T E R
S C H I L D R O T H
Proposed Rotery at Route 27 and US Route One. Showing entry and exit from the tunnel as well as the surface road to the village center.
The problem in the summer here in the village of Wiscasset, Maine in July and August. The traffic backs up for miles in both directions. I propose a tunnel under the existing road.
Wiscasset Bypass Tunnel
October 30, 2000
By: James Walter Schildroth, Architect
A Proposal for an underground solution to the traffic at Wiscasset.
All through traffic would go directly under the present right of way of US Route One. The Tunnel West entry would be at Holbrook Pond and the East entry at the East Side of Water Street. The tunnel would follow the line of the surface of existing Route One with north and south ramps to the surface at Route 27. Access to the down town area of the village would be at the route 27 and US route one intersection. A rotary at the surface would provide traffic movement with no stop sign. There would be no access to US Route One at the Water Street end of the tunnel north or south. This will remove the through traffic on the surface from the village center.
Cost would be much less then the cost of a bypass either north or south of town. The cost of the tunnel is about the same as one bridge over the river.
No disruption of property north or south for new highway.
No cost of land acquisition.
Much less cost for new road and no bridge construction.
The village center will have no through traffic on the surface.
The noise of traffic will be eliminated on the surface.
The tunnel and rotary interchange at route 27 can all be constructed within the existing right of way. When completed the surface of the town will look much as it does now. The traffic congestion and the noise will be gone.
This is an act of Historic Renewal of a village lost. The village center would be a shopping area with parking on Maine Street. A plaza at the water street end would provide a place for outdoor eating serving the restaurants nearby. All through traffic and noise would be under this area.
Nov 09, 2000
A Wiscasset resident has come up with a plan to build a tunnel underneath Route 1 from Lee Street to Water Street just before the bridge.
Architect James Walter Schildroth has submitted his plans to the Maine Department of Transportation through State Senator Marge Kilkelly.
According to the department's project manager for the Route 1 Corridor Study, Ed Hanscom, Schildroth's plans were shipped off to an international engineering company hired to study the tunnel possibility several months ago.
Governor Angus King reportedly asked for the tunnel study to see if it is a feasible and cost-effective way of addressing traffic congestion in Wiscasset.
The firm, Hatchmott MacDonald, is headquartered in England.
"They do a lot of planning and design work on tunnels," Hanscom said. "They're still gathering information but we expect to hear something by the end of the year."
Schildroth said he has been told by engineers the cost of a tunnel would be "much less than the cost of a bypass either north or south of the town, and the cost would be about the same as a bridge over the river."
"I've been told by highway engineers you can build a mile of tunnel for the cost of a single bridge," Schildroth said.
"Actually, it's not really a tunnel," he said. He described the project as digging up the present roadway to a depth that would allow pre-cast sections to be installed, then covering up the roadway.
Except for the entrances, "The road surface would look like it does now," he said. "There would be no more 'through traffic' in the village center because it would go through the tunnel."
Noise levels would be significantly reduced by the project, he said, since trucks not making deliveries in the town would use the tunnel.
Schildroth describes the result as "an act of historic renewal of a village lost."
In addition to getting traffic away from the village, his plan would not require the state to purchase any additional land, saving a great deal of money. Nor would property owners be forced to sell their land to make way for a road.
"No one's property, north or south, would be disrupted," he said.
Another part of the plan is to install a rotary at the intersection of Route 1 and Route 27. The rotary would eliminate the present stop sign, because traffic entering or leaving 27 would merge with traffic already in the roadway.
"I guess the big question is, it would be a major construction project -- are people willing to put up with the disruption while it's being built?"
"But every business would benefit from this when it's finished except maybe the gas stations. But we could put up signs that say, 'Fuel Ahead.' ''
"This traffic doesn't affect me much," he said, "but I'm not a business that has to go up and down Route 1."
"I think this would make Wiscasset desirable again... in a huge way."
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WISCASSET TUNNEL PROPOSAL
A proposed solution for the village of Wiscasset by pass.