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New plan from Bangor-area transportation group will consider climate change, new commuting patterns

Climate change is impacting roads, sidewalks and other transportation infrastructure in Maine, and a Bangor nonprofit is creating a new long-range transportation plan to address it in the region.

Maddie Jensen, Planner for the Bangor Area Comprehensive Transportation System, says Vision 2043 will take public input on the region's transportation system and marry it with municipal transportation plans to maximize budget dollars and results.

"The transportation infrastructure is going to be hugely impacted by climate related changes, for example, increases in the freeze-thaw cycles that will require municipalities to resurface roads more often. It has a huge impact on budget, so we're going to be meshing both of those plans as they are going to span about the same time period," Jensen says.

A public meeting on the transportation plan will be held at 4:30 pm Monday at the Bangor Public Library. A prioritized list of improvement projects will be completed by the fall. State and federal funding as well as grants will cover the cost of infrastructure upgrades.

The plans will also consider changes in how Greater Bangor residents travel to work in light of changes from the pandemic.

"We know that there's been population increases as people move to Maine from other states or move to rural areas of Maine," Jensen says. "So I think priorities have changed a lot for people, so we're looking to get some information on how that will impact the next 20 years so we can prepare the transportation system so we can accommodate that."

Public input can also be given via a survey found on the BACTS website. Jensen says they've already received input on 70 areas within the region that could be improved.

Projects are prioritized with public and municipal input and are funded through the Maine Department of Transportation and the federal highway and transit administrations.