RoadsAroundME is retired.

No updates will be made. The site will be accessible indefinitely, but information will not be updated, and current road routing information will inevitably be inaccurate.
You use the site at your own risk.

[RoadsAroundME main page] Maine State Route 15
[ME 15 in central Maine.]
<< Maine State Route 11S All Points in Maine Maine State Route 15A >>

Termini and Mileage (2006)

Main alignment: Int of MAIN, W.MAIN, SCHOO, Stonington to Int of ST RTE 6, US 201, Jackman
Main alignment: 180.5 miles (total over all segments)

Regional and National Route Information

History as Pole Highway (1919-1925)
The portion of ME 15 from Dover-Foxcroft to Greenville Jct was part of the Green - White Brunswick-Greenville Hwy, along with ME 16 (and later ME 6).

Notes and History

ME 15 is one of central Maine's more significant arterials, running all the way from the coastline at Stonington nearly to Quebec. Multiple portions of its routing are today co-routed with other routes, including two Interstates (I-95 and I-395).

As designated after the Maine Great Renumbering, ME 15 was a somewhat different and slightly shorter route compared to today. From its original terminus at US 1 in Ellsworth, ME 15 proceeded along the old routing of ME 106 between Ellsworth and Brewer, keeping the curious bend at Blue Hill. As ME 106 was partially cosigned with ME 102 along the coast, so was ME 15 co-routed with its succeeding route ME 3 (and is now COASTAL US 1/ME 3/ME 15). Between Brewer and Bangor proper, the new route was co-routed over US 1 (now US 1A) through the city: entering Brewer as S Main St, ME 15 then joined US 1 (later US 1B, later still US 1AB) along State St and both routes crossed the Penobscot River over the Oak Street bridge. US 1 then departed west on Washington St and ME 15 continued north on Oak St, becoming what is now Broadway past the US 2 intersection. This was apparently the original terminus of ME 105 (former lettered highway X), and ME 15 then proceeded along its former routing through Kenduskeag, Corinth and Charleston using what is today ME 15, ME 11/ME 15 (and for a short distance ME 11/ME 15/ME 43), ME 11, ME 11A, School Rd and modern ME 15 north of there to Dover-Foxcroft where it met new route ME 16 (now ME 6/ME 16). ME 15/ME 16 (now ME 6/ME 15/ME 16) then proceeded west along the former routing of ME 105 (itself former ME 104, former lettered highway J) to Abbot, leaving ME 16 there, and continuing along ME 105 (former ME 104 and highway J) to where ME 15 (now ME 6/ME 15) terminated at Greenville Junction and the former Moosehead Lake ferry landing to ME 195SH on the other end. Between 1933 and 1934 ME 15 was extended in stages along new routing on the west side of Moosehead Lake to Rockwood, finally superseding the ferry line and offering a direct road connection (via ME 195SH to Jackman and then US 201) to the Canadian international border. For some reason, however, ME 195SH was not decommissioned and added to ME 15 until 1940-1; one possible explanation was the private road extending north from the ME 15/ME 195SH junction which was publicly accessible and may have been a routing consideration also as it too crossed the Quebec border via Pittston Farm. Eventually ME 195SH was added to ME 15 and once the new alignment was fully sealed by the late 1950s, the alternate private routing eventually fell into disuse. As stated above, portions of this northwestern routing were eventually co-signed with ME 6.

In 1946-7, ME 15 was truncated to Blue Hill and the old routing to Ellsworth given as an extension to ME 172. However, ME 15 would eventually have the last laugh in 1963 when it took over ME 172's old routing to Stonington via ME 176 south of Blue Hill, new connecting routing, and finally with ME 175 to Sargentville where the extended ME 15 crossed onto Deer Isle and south to Stonington as ME 172 did before. ME 172, for its part, was truncated to Sedgwick at ME 175.

In the central portion of the routing between Corinth and the west side of Charleston, ME 15 was moved to a bypass alignment originally signed as ME 15A. This alternate alignment, first designated in 1950, was the "hypotenuse" of the ME 11-ME 15 "right triangle" into Charleston and as it was the more heavily travelled alignment became ME 15's new routing in 1960.

ME 15's routing over freeway was a late phenomenon; ME 15 continued to enter and pass through downtown Bangor long after I-95 was built in the region and even after the completion of I-395 in Bangor in 1986. A Bangor internal transportation authority document still shows it routed on State St in Brewer as late as fall 2004; I personally observed ME 15 signs up on I-95 and I-395 in May 2005, meaning the rerouting must have occurred between those periods. ME 15 now accesses I-395, proceeds north with it to I-95, and then north along I-95 to the present-day ME 15 north exit at Broadway. JP Kirby refers to the old routing as Business ME 15 for purposes of documentation although there is no signage for it, nor any record of it remaining numbered highway. In the present day, ME 15 is well-signed on both freeways.

ME 15 runs near (although does not ever seem to have been routed on) the Robyville Covered Bridge in Corinth, one of Maine's few remaining covered bridges that are not only intact, but also operational. (A picture of this bridge appears on the main page.) Built in 1876, the bridge has a single 73' span over the Kenduskeag Stream between its twin stone abutments and is based on a Long-type wooden truss design. Reinforced for modern weight standards in 1984, the bridge continues to carry local traffic today and was designed a State Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in January 2002. The bridge today is signed as Covered Bridge Rd and is accessed from ME 15 by heading west on Cushman Rd north of Kenduskeag to Grant Rd and Covered Bridge Rd, then proceeding south on Covered Bridge Rd. For another covered bridge still in service, see US 302.

Portions of ME 15 are part of the Trans-Maine Trail and Trans-Maine Trail Alternate, a legislative highway declared in 1979 (Title 23, Chap. 23 §1951). The Trans-Maine and Trans-Maine Alternate Trails include portions of ME 6, ME 15, ME 16 and ME 27; see Maine's Named Highways.

ME 15 from Dover-Foxcroft to Greenville is part of the former Moosehead Trail.

See also ME 15A and ME 15S.

Former NEI 15 has no relationship to ME 15 and is today represented by US 2.

Archival Photographs

[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] Broadway/ME 15 and I-95 interchange construction in Bangor (Highway News 1/59). Compare this view with the more recent photograph also on this page. This span is 152'.
Additional Photographs

[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] ME 11A southern terminus at the ME 11 bend. This was also ME 15 until the completion of ME 15A.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] ME 11 at modern ME 15, former ME 15A. Previously, ME 15 was co-routed along ME 11 north (this picture faces south) into Charleston; ME 15A was built heading off to the right. ME 15 was subsequently transferred to ME 15A and the alternate designation was removed.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] ME 11, ME 15 and ME 43 co-signed in Corinth (the trunkline being SB ME 15).
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] Terminus of ME 221 at ME 15, just north of Bangor.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] Junction I-95 from SB ME 15, north Bangor. Note the "old sign style" which is now used on many newer signs.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] Separation I-95 at ME 15, north Bangor. SB ME 15 proceeds with I-95 to I-395 on the south end of town. Note the use of neutered shields here instead. Compare this picture with the archival one on this page during this intersection's construction.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] US 1, ME 3 and ME 15 cosigned near Bucksport. This is part of the "coastal" US 1 designation, and US 1 carries a "Coastal" banner in this stretch.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] I-395 and ME 15 crossing the Penobscot River over the Veterans' Remembrance Bridge.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] Co-signage of ME 6, ME 15 and ME 16 near Sangerville. The "Moosehead Trail" signage is antiquated and refers to an old tourism effort to spearhead local economic development, easily confused with the snowmobile Moosehead Trail which is nearby and very popular. See Maine's Named Highways.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] ME 15 and I-395 cosigned in southern Bangor. The ME 15 shield is a little strange, with thicker borders reminiscent of Connecticut's.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] One of the prettier town limit signs along ME 15 is this one, for the township of Corinth. The bridge on the sign is the 1876 Robyville Covered Bridge, a picture of which appears on our main page.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] The other side of the sign.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] ME 15 through downtown Corinth.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] SB I-95 exit 182A/separation I-395 from SB I-95 with ME 15, towards US 1A and ME 9 in Hampden.

Additional Resources

<< Maine State Route 11S All Points in Maine Maine State Route 15A >>
Routing information is property of the Maine Department of Transportation, based on most current data available at time of this writing. No warranty or guarantee is expressed or implied regarding this routing's suitability for travel or resemblance to fact. RoadsAroundME is not affiliated with, sponsored by or funded by the taxpayers of the state of Maine, or the Maine Department of Transportation.

All images, photographs and multimedia, unless otherwise stated, are copyright © 2005-2010 Cameron Kaiser. All rights reserved. All writeups are copyright © 2005-2010 Cameron Kaiser. All rights reserved. Unauthorized copying or duplication without express consent of the copyright holder is strictly prohibited. Please contact the sitemaster to request permission if you wish to use items from this page.

[Main page]
Return to RoadsAroundME
RoadsAroundME is a part of Floodgap Roadgap.