The $30 million Acadia Gateway Center will be constructed this year.   CONCEPT ILLUSTRATION COURTESY OF MDOT 

Acadia Gateway Center among projects in MDOT three-year plan

BAR HARBOR — The Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) has earmarked more than $42 million for improvements to area roads and bridges over the next three years.   

The funds are part of the department’s $3.17 billion, three-year state work plan that includes funding for 2,316 projects around the state. Of those, about 32 projects are planned for the Mount Desert Island region and will include the construction this year of a $30 million Acadia Gateway Center in Trenton.   

Overall funding for projects was bolstered by the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), which was passed last November. The influx of those additional funds will allow the department to switch from “MacGyver mode” – where patches, born out of fiscal necessity, are the norm – to a more proactive approach that will address long-standing issues around the state, said MDOT Commissioner Bruce Van Note in a letter accompanying the plan.   

Under BIL, Maine can expect to receive an estimated $66 million of additional money from the federal government each year for the next five years, representing a 28 percent increase over existing funding levels. The funds will help, explained the commissioner, to offset the roughly 30 percent increase of labor and material costs. 

Bar Harbor 

Of the six projects planned, the town of Bar Harbor will see only one project completed in 2022. That project is a culvert replacement located 0.05 of a mile north of Pine Heath Road. The estimated cost is $60,000.   

The largest project listed for Bar Harbor will be done during 2023 and 2024. MDOT expects to fund improvements to a bridge spanning Cromwell Brook at a cost of $1.5 million. The work will take place on Ledgelawn Avenue just 0.03 of a mile north of White Spruce Road.   

Other projects during 2023 and 2024 include:  

  • Drainage improvements on Route 3 beginning at Eden Street extending east for 0.48 of a mile.  
  • Draining improvements on Route 3 beginning 0.02 of a mile north of First South St. and extending north for 0.19 of a mile.  
  • Light capital paving on Route 233 beginning at Norway Drive and extending east 3.95 miles to Route 3.   
  • Highway paving on Route 3 beginning 0.20 of a mile east of Oak Point Road and extending southeast 3.37 miles.   

Cranberry Isles 

The Cranberry Isles will receive $50,000 in 2022 and in 2023 as direct payments to the Cranberry Isles Ferry to offset transportation costs.   


In Frenchboro, MDOT will replace the structural dolphin in Lunt Harbor at a cost of $2.89 million in 2022. A dolphin is a man-made structure, similar to a piling, that extends out of the water and is not connected to the shore.   

At this time, no other projects are expected in the next three years.   

Mount Desert 

There are five projects scheduled in Mount Desert, and two are a priority in 2022. This year there will be light capital paving (also known as a skim coat of paving material placed over existing roadway) on Pretty Marsh Road beginning at Route 102A and extending north 12.41 miles to Route 102. Additionally, road improvements will be done on Route 3 from Upper Dunbar Road extending 0.66 of a mile north.   

Other projects for 2023 and 2024 include:  

  • Replacement of Babson’s Bridge over Meadow Brook at a cost of $2.77 million  
  • Light capital paving on Route 3 beginning at Upper Dunbar Road and extending southwest 3.55 miles to Route 198.   
  • Light capital paving on Route 198 beginning at Peabody Drive and extending 0.83 of a mile.   

Southwest Harbor 

There are two projects listed for Southwest Harbor and both are expected take place this year.   

At a cost of $1.11 million, a new sidewalk will be constructed on the west side of Main Street beginning at Apple Lane and extending south 0.20 of a mile.   

On Route 2, beginning 0.07 of a mile north of Apple Lane and extending south 0.27 of a mile, there will be highway improvements made.   

Swan’s Island 

The Swan’s Island Crew Quarters will be expanded in 2022. A one- to two-bedroom addition is planned at a cost of $331,000. 

The quarters are maintained by the state’s ferry service and houses ferry pilots that service the island while on duty.  


There are two projects planned this year in Tremont.   

Light capital paving will occur on Pretty Marsh Road beginning at Route 10A and extending north 12.41 miles to Route 102.   

And, on the Shore Road beginning 0.16 of a mile north of Early Way and extending north 0.04 of a mile and continuing on Route 102A for 0.06 of a mile, MDOT will perform a slope stabilization project.  


One of the state’s largest projects will take place this year in Trenton. The state will pay for the design and construction of the Acadia Gateway Center at a cost of $30 million. The state-of-the-art passenger facility will include a welcome center.   

Also in 2022, side-of-the-road ditching will occur on Route 204 beginning at the intersection of Route 3 in Trenton and extending southeast 6.47 miles to the intersection of Seal Point Road in Lamoine. A slope stabilization project is also planned for Route 3, just 0.49 of a mile north of the Bar Harbor town line.   

Downeast Transportation will receive $828,000 earmarked for transit administration and operating assistance this year and $988,000 in 2023.   

Other projects during 2023 and 2024 include:  

  • Highway paving on Route 3 beginning 0.20 of a mile east of Oak Point Road and extending southeast 3.37 miles.   
  • Runway and safety improvements at the Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport.  
  • Culvert replacement on Route 230 located 0.36 of a mile south of the Ellsworth town line.   
  • Light capital paving on Route 230 beginning at the Ellsworth town line and extending south 9.33 miles to Route 198.   


Faith DeAmbrose

Faith DeAmbrose

Managing Editor at Mount Desert Islander

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