S e r v i c e s
Six Bedford Farms Drive, Suite 607
Bedford, New Hampshire 03110-6532
Telephone 603 644-0888
Fax 603 644-2385
Attendees: Date/Time: Lee Karker – Coastal Trans September 15, 2009 Meeting Victor Langelo – Topsham 3:00 – 5:00 PM Notes John Gerard - BDA
John Shattuck – Topsham
Dave Markovchick - Eco. Dev. Brunswick
Steve Levesque – MRRA (sitting in for Jeff
Ted Crooker – Crooker
Leighton Cooney - Office of the Governor
James Howard - Priority Group LLC
Benet Pols – Brunswick Town Council
Rich Roedner - Topsham
Anna Breinich - Brunswick
Chris Mann - MaineDOT
Judy Lindsey - MaineDOT
Marty Kennedy - VHB
Nick Sanders - VHB
Project No.: 52049.00
Place: Re: Topsham Town Office Advisory Committee Meeting #2
Notes taken by: Nick Sanders
Mr. Chris Mann opened the meeting by introducing himself as the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) Study Manager and stated the goals for the second advisory committee meeting: to review the draft purpose and need statement and review the input from the September 2, 2009 public workshop.
Mr. Marty Kennedy from Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. (VHB) introduced himself as the Study Manager for the consultant team (VHB, RKG, Gorrill-Palmer, Morris Communications, Nobis Engineering and TechEdit). Using a PowerPoint presentation, Mr. Kennedy explained that the Purpose and Need of a project helps to establish a basis for the development of a range of reasonable alternatives and assists with the identification, analysis and eventual selection of a preferred alternative. Mr. Kennedy continued that the Purpose and Need is used to compare the effectiveness and the impacts of the various project alternatives against the No Build Alternative. Next, Mr. Kennedy provided and overview of the draft Purpose and Need for the Naval Air Station –
Brunswick Redevelopment. The PowerPoint presentation will be posted on the project web site (www.nasb-transportation-study.com).
Mr. Rich Roedner asked for rational as to why the Naval Air Station Annex located in
Topsham is not included in this study. Mr. Roedner stated that we need to include the Annex
and Route 201 adjacent to the Annex in this study.
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Project No.: 52049.00:
Mr. James Howard stated that it will be difficult to address the deficiencies at the intersection of Route 196 and Route 201 without the Annex.
Mr. Kennedy clarified that the traffic generated by the redevelopment of the Naval Air Station at the Annex will be included in this study’s traffic volumes. However, the
development and evaluation of alternatives to upgrade Route 201 or for that matter to consider alternatives for a new interchange at I-295 were not part of strategy 2A and is not
included in this study.
Mr. John Shattuck stated that the study area for this project needs to include the section of Route 201 adjacent to the Annex.
Mr. Mann replied that this segment of Route 201 was beyond the scope and budget for this project as currently defined in the contract.
Mr. Theodore Crooker stated that he would like to see the study area expanded to include Route 201 through to I-295. Adding that we need to look at the Cooks Corner Master Plan Study and incorporate a cloverleaf interchange on I-295 at River Road.
Mr. Howard pointed out that if this study area does not include the Annex and Route 201 adjacent to the Annex there will be resistance from the town of Topsham to support the outcome of this study. Topsham is preparing a formal written request to extend the study to the Annex.
Mr. Leighton Cooney supported Mr. Roedner’s and others support that the study area should
be expanded to include the Annex and Route 201 adjacent to the Annex.
Ms. Judy Lindsey stated that expanding the study area and the limits of the Strategies will impact the cost and the schedule of the current project contract.
Mr. Victor Langelo asked how can Strategy 1 be included in the Purpose and Need statement. Mr. Steve Levesque stated that the Navy EIS and the other previous studies have shown a need for the direct connection to US Route 1.
Mr. Rich Roedner stated that the reuse plan determined that direct access to US Route 1 was needed.
Mr. Steve Levesque stated that whether or not the Annex is shown within the project study area or not is semantics because the Annex is in fact part of the Navel Air Station redevelopment.
Mr. Howard stated that we would look incompetent if the Annex is not added to the study area.
Mr. Mann reiterated that the scope and schedule has already been established and that any changes to it will have impacts on both the scope and the schedule.
Mr. Levesque asked how much of an extra effort it would be to expand the study area and the Strategy limits to include the Annex and Route 201 adjacent to the Annex.
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Mr. Howard stated that we will need to make it officially part of the study area as these issues along Route 201 will be discussed as the study progresses.
Ms. Anna Breinich asked who defined the study area.
Mr. Cooney stated that MaineDOT set the line defining the limits of the Strategies. Adding that it should be expanded to the north on Route 201.
Mr. Mann stated the Strategies were provided to MaineDOT by the Governor’s Task Force and were formulated through the earlier study efforts (The Re-use Master Plan) conducted by the MRRA.
Mr. Levesque stated that even without the Navel Air Base there is serious congestion. Adding the Base redevelopment will exacerbate the deficiencies and therefore mitigation will be needed.
Mr. Mann agreed that there are clearly issues beyond the limits of the defined Strategies. Mr. Levesque stated that these are general Strategies and the study area is fine. Ms. Lindsey restated that the traffic generated by the redevelopment of the Annex will be included in this study within the defined Strategies.
Mr. Kennedy (responding to someone’s question regarding seasonal adjustment of the traffic volumes) stated that the traffic volumes in this evaluation have been seasonally adjusted to
threpresent a DHV condition, which represents the 30 highest hour of the year.
Mr. Mann stated that this project will consider other studies and that those studies are available to view on the project website.
Ms. Lindsey suggested that MaineDOT and VHB meet to review the existing contract to determine what ramifications there will be if the study area and limits of the Strategies are expanded as discussed during today’s meeting.
Mr. Levesque stated that it will be important from MRRA’s perspective to gain the support of the community as they will be funding some of the improvements.
Mr. Mann stated that clearly we want to gain the public’s support.
Mr. John Gerard submitted his written comments on the draft Purpose and Need statement to Mr. Kennedy.
Ms. Breinich recommended adding McKeen Street.
Mr. Levesque stated he did not see McKeen St as a problem directly related to the base redevelopment.
Mr. Ted Crocker stated the study area should be extended to the River Road interchange to relieve Pleasant Street. He also stated the study area should extend to the area of Cooks Corner, he added there are strategies that need to be implemented from the Cooks Corner Master Plan.
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Mr. Mann stated there is no denying these are important areas but they were not included in this study’s funding.
Mr. Roedner agrees that it may not be in the best interest to expand the study area as there may be good reasons why Cooks Corner and McKeen Street were not included but he still does not understand why the Annex is not included in the study.
Someone stated that the proposed strategies may not be the right ones to come out of this study, he views them as targets.
Mr. Howard stated that these were just options.
Mr. Levesque mentioned that these are general strategies not specific. MRRA did not want to be “prescriptive” therefore the results from the prior study are generally more generic.
Mr. Gerard stated that the former Comprehensive Plan has an East-West roadway to bypass Downtown and local roads that are being used as “cut-throughs”.
Mr. Gerard recommended the use of the State Planning Office projections of job loss and the subsequent economic impact.
Ms. Breinich asked if the three recommendations from the Gateway One study will be considered when analyzing the alternatives, she is concerned they will get “lost”. The
Gateway One study recommends Passenger Rail at the Base and Outer Pleasant Street. Mr. Kennedy stated freight rail is included in the study, passenger rail would be considered as a TDM option for Strategy 3.
Mr. Kennedy resumed his presentation by providing an overview of the public input from the
September 2, 2009 public workshop.
Someone asked if there will be a cost estimate for the recommended improvements. Mr. Kennedy responded that cost estimates will be provided for each alternative. Mr. Kennedy added that we would also be recommending a phased approach to the implementation of any improvement actions.
It was noted that there was a conflict (meet the candidates – Brunswick) with the next thscheduled public meeting on September 30. The meeting will be re-scheduled
Mr. Mann closed the meeting stating that MaineDOT and VHB will meet to review the existing contract to determine what ramifications there will be if the study area and limits of the Strategies are expanded to include the Topsham Annex as discussed during today’s
meeting. Mr. Mann noted that the issues related to the limits of the study area and Strategies will be resolved prior to the next public meeting.