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[RoadsAroundME main page] Maine State Route 16
[ME 6, ME 15 and ME 16 near Sangerville.]
<< Maine State Route 15S All Points in Maine Maine State Route 17 >>

Termini and Mileage (2006)

Main alignment: Int of RTE 16, N.H.SL, Magalloway Plt to Int of RTE 2, RTE 16, Orono
Main alignment: 190.61 miles (total over all segments)

Regional and National Route Information

History as Pole Highway (1919-1925)
The portions of ME 16 co-signed with ME 15 between Dover-Foxcroft and Greenville Jct were originally part of the Green - White Brunswick-Greenville Hwy.

Notes and History

Like its close relative ME 4, ME 16 is one of those routes to suffer the dishonour of a mighty routing in the past cut down to a less distinguished one today -- at its height crossing entirely from New Hampshire to New Brunswick, it now barely manages to get into the centre of the state. Despite this ignominy, it remains an important central east-west arterial even having been superseded by its inheritor ME 6 in many areas.

As designated after the Maine Great Renumbering, ME 16 started at Haines Landing and Mooselookmeguntic Lake, proceeding along old ME 107 to Rangeley, then along ME 4 to Stratton (old ME 144) and the rest of former ME 144 to north Anson via Dead River and North New Portland, then up US 201 to south of Solon where they split, ME 16 taking the west side of the Kennebec River and US 201 the east, to south of Bingham where they briefly rejoined until ME 16 exited to the east. From Bingham, it continued along old ME 149 to Abbot via Kingsbury, then along with new route ME 15 over old ME 105 (former ME 104) to Dover-Foxcroft, then old ME 100 (itself former ME 154) to Milo, and new routing through Medford along the north shore of the Piscataquis River to Howland, partially with a reincarnated ME 116 on the eastern end, where it met the extended ME 11 running again on the old ME 100 routing. Both ME 11 and ME 16 crossed the Penobscot River together, ME 11 leaving north from Enfield along US 2 and ME 16 continuing on old ME 100 to Enfield and up new routing to Lincoln, taking over the entirety of old ME 167 from there to Vanceboro and the Canadian international border via Springfield and Topsfield. In 1936, it was taken off the small Haines Landing-Oquossoc stub alignment and extended on the west end from Oquossoc to the New Hampshire stateline near Wilson Mills, completing the trans-state routing. (The stub alignment was subsequently assigned to the reincarnated ME 144, and is now ME 4.)

In 1949 ME 16 was cut down to Milo with the old routing between Lincoln and Vanceboro becoming part of ME 6, the routing between Howland and Lincoln via Enfield becoming part of ME 11 (switching it off US 2, with which ME 6 was now co-signed later; this routing is now ME 155), and the now-orphaned alignment between Milo and Howland via Medford ceasing to be numbered highway except for the small portion cosigned with ME 116 north of Howland, which is now solely ME 116. (Strangely, the 1950 official state map still shows ME 16 on the Medford alignment despite it not being in the route log or proceeding further east. This error is corrected by 1952.) However, the most spectacular re-routing was with the construction of the Flagstaff Dam by Central Maine Power on the Dead River that same year, an action that (like the Grand Coulee and Kettle Falls on modern US 395 in Washington State) literally drowned the town of Flagstaff and about half of the highway under the backflow. Remnants of the town and the old road can still be seen in the shallows of Flagstaff Lake. To compensate for the lost continuity, ME 16 was shifted onto old ME 142 between Kingfield and North New Portland, then up to Stratton with ME 27 to proceed west along the old routing again; the remaining old alignment ceased to be numbered highway and remains as such today.

As a consolation prize for these insults, ME 16 was also given ME 155's old routing between Milo and Orono in 1955. This routing persists to the present day.

The portions co-signed with US 201, as well as their separation in Bingham, have undergone small but significant realignments; see US 201 for the details.

Portions of ME 16 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 6 is also part of the former Moosehead Trail on the portions cosigned with ME 15.

ME 16 is a multi-state route with New Hampshire; see also ME 4, ME 9, ME 11, ME 25, ME 26, ME 109 and ME 110.

Additional Photographs

[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.
Additional Resources

Maine Highways 11 to 25 (JP Kirby) Flagstaff Lake (

<< Maine State Route 15S All Points in Maine Maine State Route 17 >>
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.

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