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Develop Interagency Transportation Hub/Welcome Center/Bus Maintenance Facility

Acadia National Park » Develop Interagency Transportation Hub/Welcome Center/Bus Maintenance Facility » Document List

The Federal Transit Administration in cooperation with the National Park Service, Maine Department of Transportation, Town of Trenton, Friends of Acadia, Downeast Transportation, Inc., and other partners proposes to construct the Acadia Gateway Center in the town of Trenton, Maine. The proposed Acadia Gateway Center would serve as a visitor welcome center, public transportation hub, and bus maintenance facility. The goals of the project would be to reduce traffic congestion on the Route 3 corridor and in Acadia National Park by attracting visitors and commuters to the Island Explorer Transit System and other transportation alternatives. The Acadia Gateway Center would also enhance the experience of visitors to the park and allow for the efficient operation of the Island Explorer. This project is proposed to be developed outside the park's boundary along State Highway 3, approximately two miles north of the Trenton/Bar Harbor airport. The 369-acre property is bisected by Crippens Brook. It is strategically located to intercept traffic traveling south on Route 3 before arriving onto Mount Desert Island.

The project would:
1) provide connections to the Island Explorer and other bus services;
2) provide parking for visitors and commuters;
3) provide administrative, light maintenance, and storage facilities for Downeast Transportation, Inc. in support of the Island Explorer Bus System;
4) orient visitors to the Acadia region and provide visitor amenities such as restrooms; and,
5) protect natural and aesthetic resources, including open space.

The Federal Transit Administration and National Park Service (NPS) have issued separate Findings of No Significant Impact (FONSIs) following the Environmental Assessment. In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, issuing the FONSIs allows the agencies to proceed with preliminary design, which will include continued input from the public and stakeholders.

The facility would be constructed in four phases.
• Phase one includes the construction of a bus maintenance and storage facility, commuter park and ride lot, access road and related utilities. It is tentatively scheduled to be completed by 2010.
• Phase two includes construction of the intermodal center, a portion of the National Park Service welcome center, and regional tourism information. Building the intermodal center will allow travelers to ride the Island Explorer Bus service to Acadia National Park and Mount Desert Island. The NPS welcome center would provide information about Acadia National Park. Phase two is tentatively scheduled to be completed by 2012.
• Phase three includes construction of the remainder of the National Park Service welcome center. It is tentatively scheduled to be completed after 2012.
• Phase four includes a National Park Service theater building and an ancillary use building, which could be used to support local businesses. It is tentatively scheduled to be completed after 2012.

The issuance of the FONSIs marks the end of the conceptual planning process, which included extensive public out reach. Three public meetings were held at Trenton Elementary School to gather individual comments on project alternatives and design. A number of meetings were held with local officials and local groups including; emergency service providers, Trenton Board of Selectmen, and local chambers of commerce. In addition to the above, two newsletters were mailed to all postal addresses in Trenton and distributed at public information meetings.

Copies of the FONSIs and Environmental Assessment are available at www.acadiagatewaycenter.com.

Contact Information
For the most up-to-date information about this project, please go to the Maine DOT web site (see links). Questions and comments may be directed to:
Ms. Peggy Duval
Maine DOT
Phone: (207) 624-3557
Email: margaret.duval@maine.gov