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[RoadsAroundME main page] US Highway 1A (Maine)
[US 1A shield south of Bangor.]
<< Maine State Route 1 All Points in Maine US Highway 1A Business (Maine) >>

Termini and Mileage (2006)

Termini (in-state)
Main alignment: Int of MAINE-NEW HAMPSHIRE, Kittery to Int of RTE 1, MAIN ST, Van Buren
Mileage (in-state)
Main alignment: 129.09 miles (total over all segments)

Regional and National Route Information

History as Pole Highway (1919-1925)
The NEI 1 portions of US 1A (i.e. York-Cape Neddick, and Stockton Springs-Bangor-Ellsworth except US 1AB) were originally Blue as part of the Atlantic Highway. The NEI 24 portions of US 1A (i.e. Mars Hill to ME 10) were White - Blue as part of the Aroostock Trail.
History as New England Interstate (1925)
Present-day US 1A from Stockton Springs to Bangor and Ellsworth, as well as the York-Cape Neddick US 1A, were originally part of NEI 1. Also, the portion of US 1A between Mars Hill and Easton Center was part of NEI 24, with the remainder being ME 10.
History as US Highway
As above, US 1A through Bangor was US 1 until 1955. For that matter, however, present US 1 over the Penobscot River near Bucksport was former US 1A. US 1A between Mars Hill and Presque Isle was US 1 until 1940. See below for additional segment history. Some very early maps show modern Bangor US 1A as part of US 2; see US 1 and US 2 for the history of these map changes.

Notes and History

The route log mileage above is based on the 2006 routing, which was altered in May 2007 (see below).

Here are the individual segments that are, or once were, signed as US 1 Alternate in Maine listed from longest to shortest:

  • Stockton Springs-Ellsworth via Bangor (54.0 miles). This is the longest US 1A -- in the United States, not just in Maine -- and a former routing of US 1 (as described above; part of former lettered highway L). In addition to its major routings over Main St and Bangor Rd between Hampden and Stockton Springs, and Bangor Rd between Brewer and Ellsworth, US 1A is also carried on (Bangor-Brewer) Wilson St, then Union St, Summer St, Railroad St and Main St with ME 9; as well as (Ellsworth) Oak St and State St, becoming Bangor Rd. This 1A replaced the earlier half-mile 1A through downtown Bangor, itself a former piece of US 1; see below for the history. For the record, Maine also has the longest US 2A.

    The Bangor 1A has had several realignments, some of which include:

    • Stockton Springs. See US 1.

    • Frankfort. US 1A (and previously US 1) now occupies a curve-straightened alignment variously signed as Bangor Rd and S Main St. The former alignment is Yeager Rd and can be seen on the 1900 topo (warning: large image). This alignment must have been bypassed relatively early, certainly before US 1A, as the modern alignment appears on the 1948 topo (warning: large image).

    • North Winterport-Coles Corner. US 1A (and previously US 1) now occupies a curve-straightened alignment variously signed as N Main St. The former alignment is Old County Rd and can be seen on the 1900 topo (warning: large image). This alignment must have been bypassed relatively early, certainly before US 1A, as the modern alignment appears on the 1948 topo (warning: large image).

    • Hampden. Old County Rd may have been an old alignment of US 1 in this region, but the modern alignment of US 1A/ME 9 (and previously US 202) has existed at least since the 1902 topo (warning: large image).

    • Bangor-Brewer. See the former Bangor 1A below for realignments related to this segment.

    • Holden. US 1A (and previously US 1) now occupies a curve-smoothed alignment now signed as Main Rd. The former alignment is Church Rd and can be seen on the 1946 topo and 1955 topo (warning: large images). The modern alignment appears on the 1965 general atlas.

    • East Dedham. US 1A (and previously US 1) now occupies a curve-straightened bypass alignment to the east now signed as Main Rd. The former alignment is Lily Rd and Old Route 1A, and can be seen on the 1942 topo, the 1948 topo, the 1955 topo (warning: large images) and even the 1968 general atlas, so this realignment must have occurred relatively late. The Maine Central Railroad bridge carries a date of 1973, making that the most likely date of realignment.

    The Old Belfast Rd near Frankfort does not appear to have been part of either US 1 or US 1A.

  • Mars Hill-Van Buren (49.8 miles). As first signed in 1940, this route went to Caribou using the portion of old US 1's routing to Easton Center, taking over ME 165 north to Fort Fairfield, and then taking over ME 161 to Caribou. Portions near Fairfield were co-signed with ME 167, but ME 167 remained signed. In 1983, the routing was shifted due north through Fort Fairfield to Van Buren along the rest of ME 165, which was then decommissioned, and the remaining orphaned alignment was returned to ME 161. See also the old Presque Isle to Mars Hill 1A below.

    There seems to be an old alignment of ME 165 to the west between Fort Fairfield and Four Corners/ME 223 signed as Fort Fairfield and Center Limestone Rd; it is doubtful this was part of US 1A when designated in this region. Similarly, there is another old alignment of ME 165 along what is signed Old East Rd as seen in the 1933 topo and 1951 topo (warning: large images), but this was realigned by the 1961 general atlas long before US 1A was on this routing.

    This US 1A is part of the Pine Tree Trail in its entirety as an alternate routing.

  • Stockton Springs-Ellsworth via Bucksport (decommissioned; 27.0 miles). As mentioned above, this was originally US 1A and is now COASTAL US 1. The official state maps show it signed as early as 1939, but it does not appear in the route logs until 1953; it was shifted away with the designation of the Bangor 1A in 1955.

  • Mars Hill-Presque Isle (decommissioned; 14.3 miles). This was US 1A from 1936-40 and is now US 1. US 1 originally occupied a "bent" alignment between Mars Hill and Presque Isle via Easton Center until this 1A was decommissioned in 1940; it was then shifted to former 1A, the now-vacated US 1 alignment between Mars Hill and Easton Center was designated as part of present-day US 1A between Van Buren and Mars Hill, and the remainder between Easton Center and Presque Isle became modern ME 10 in its entirety. Previously, this was ME 1ASH.

  • Jonesboro-Machias (8.1 miles). This was designated in 1936. Previously, this was ME 1ASH.

  • Milbridge-Harrington (7.8 miles). This was designated in 1936. Previously, this was ME 1ASH.

  • York-Cape Neddick (7.0 miles). This was designated in 1936. Previously, this was ME 1ASH. It is a former alignment of US 1.

  • Portland (3.7 miles [as originally signed]). This was designated in 1951 and as signed originally ran along W Commercial St, Commercial St, India St, Congress St and Washington Avenue, picking up ME 26 at Cumberland Ave and crossing with it over Back Cove to US 1 on Veranda St where it terminated and left ME 26 exiting the town on Washington Ave. After northern construction of the I-295 freeway reconfigured the Tukey's Bridge Back Cove crossing (completed in 1960), US 1A was shifted to the freeway to cross the Cove and terminate at the US 1 interchange but retained the remainder of the alignment until the construction of the Franklin Arterial to Commercial St was completed in 1971-2. At that point, US 1A was shifted northeast to the Arterial and, when I-295 was finished (see I-295), onto I-295 directly from there with the India-Congress-Washington alignment dropped from the routing.

    In May 2007, MDOT petitioned and received approval from AASHTO to realign US 1A in Portland again. The new US 1A incorporates the Portland Connector (Fore River Pkwy) from I-295 to the east end of the Veterans Memorial Bridge, then the old routing along Commercial and the Franklin Arterial, up to I-295 where it terminates and is no longer co-routed on Tukey's Bridge. The choice of the Portland Connector is a strange one, given that the Veterans Memorial would be a faster link and was freed up by the US 1 realignment at the same time. Although some of the old signage still survives, new signage is up on I-295 (but this edition of the route log reflects the old routing). Interestingly, this routing also prevents any movement to its southbound parent on its southbound end.

    There is a curious error in the US 1A realignment application; it gives the original northern terminus as Franklin Arterial/Marginal Way, not US 1 at the East Deering Interchange. In addition, it implies an active alignment along Marginal Way to Plowman St which has never appeared previously in any route log I have access to (and has no direct access to I-295, possibly even since 1974). However, there is at least one report of a single lonely 1A shield on Marginal Way WB approaching the Franklin Arterial.

  • Rockland (1.6 miles). This is former US 1BYP, which itself was former US 1A (again). Signage for dual alignments of US 1 start to appear as early as 1941 (see this 1941 topo [warning: large image]); interestingly, it seems that the bypass routing seen on what is now Old County Rd was the older of the two. By 1950 it is seen on its present-day routing, (northbound) from US 1 up Broadway to Birch St, and then Maverick St back to US 1; ultimately it started to appear as Bypass US 1 in 1963 (listed as such by 1964 in the MDOT route logs), but reverted back to US 1A by 1987 and continues to appear as US 1A in the present route log. There are no more BYPASS signs today.

  • Bangor (decommissioned; 0.5 miles). This short 1A within downtown Bangor was first designated 1946-7 and had at least two known routings. The first and earliest existed when only the State St bridge crossed the Penobscot River and is seen on the 1949 map; mainline then-US 1 crossed the Penobscot on State St from the Brewer side, headed west on Washington St, north on Exchange St, briefly co-routed with US 2 along State St on the Bangor side to Hammond St, then left town with US 202 along Main St. In this earliest incarnation, US 1A was the cutoff routing along (east to west) Washington St over the Kenduskeag Stream outlet, Summer St and Railroad St back to mainline US 1. This routing persisted through 1953, when the Union St bridge was under construction.

    In 1954, US 1 was switched to the former 1A with modifications: it now proceeded over the new bridge, approaching from the Brewer side on Wilson St and connecting directly to Summer St, dropping Washington St and the Kenduskeag Stream crossing entirely from the routing. As for US 1A, it was redesignated US 1B and moved to the former US 1 routing except that instead of co-routing with US 2 on State, it followed a hooked routing north of Exchange up along Harlow St and back down Central St to rejoin the former routing at the corner of Main St and State. These alignments then survived to become the aforementioned long 1A (or at least part of it) and US 1AB respectively in 1955. See also US 1AB.

  • Todds Corners-Freeport (erroneous). Several sources give this routing as an old 1A, but a 1A corresponding to these termini has never appeared in any of my route logs dating back to 1925. However, there was a US 1B in this region, which is now once again US 1, and some maps incorrectly show that alignment as 1A (including Maine's own despite listing the alignment as US 1B in the accumulative log). This error is probably partially propagated by a 1956 route log showing a "Business 1A" in Freeport (US 1AB) under ME 125 that is neither shown on the map, nor under the logs for US 1 or 1A; this likely refers to US 1B also.

US 1BYP in Kittery (1.5 miles) is charged by MDOT as part of US 1A's mileage in this edition of the route log even though it's not signed as US 1A (but it apparently was in the 1960s; see the US 1BYP entry). Note that due to rounding error from significant digits on the accumulative log these distances were built from, the total routing computes to 129.8 miles.

A US 1A Business once existed in Bangor; see that entry (US 1AB) and ME 1ASH (Maine State Route 1A).

Roadgap Exhibits

 You can see the longest modern US 1A between Stockton Springs and Ellsworth, along with old US 1A over the Penobscot Narrows, in the Roadgap Bangor Loop exhibit.

Archival Photographs

[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] Enlargement showing junction US 1 and US 1A in Mars Hill, apparently ca. late 1930s as US 1 is indicated going to Fort Fairfield, not US 1A; the designations, of course, later switched. The double "JUNCTION" is interesting. (Private photographer in author's collection.)
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] Early morning winter scene of the 1931 Waldo-Hancock Bridge crossing the Penobscot Narrows, carrying US 1 (formerly US 1A) and ME 3 (Highway News 2/59). ME 174 was also routed here until approximately 1960.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] Piers and towers of the Waldo-Hancock, and the underside of the main span (Highway News 10/59).
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] Redecking and flaring of west approach to the Waldo-Hancock (Highway News 9/62).
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] Tukey's Bridge during its upgrading for I-295 (Highway News 11/59). Note that only half is in use (one-lane-per-direction) while the other lanes are being constructed. The two large fills on the approaches contain approximately 500,000 yards of earth and 140,000 yards of rock. US 1A was originally routed on Tukey's Bridge, but MDOT received AASHTO permission to switch it out for US 1 in May 2007 (see respective entries).
Additional Photographs

[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] US 1A and ME 9 in downtown Bangor. The directional banners and US shields are a little funny-looking.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] Old-style signage in Ellsworth at the terminus of US 1A along US 1/ME 3.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] Terminus of ME 179 and ME 180 as a useless multiplex at US 1A leaving Ellsworth to Bangor. ME 180 splits off a little over a mile north along the west side of Graham Lake, with ME 179 running along the east shore.
[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.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] US 1A leaving Bangor to Ellsworth and Bar Harbor, the longest of the 1A alignments and the former routing of US 1.
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] Advance signage for WB I-395 exit 3/US 1A/US 202/ME 9 and the end of I-395 at I-95. Note the use of the INTERSTATE MAINE 95 shield, and the signage "All Points North and South" which is ubiquitous for I-95 and also US 1. Exit 3 shows US 202, although it allegedly already ended.

Additional Resources

Other Roadgap exhibits for this route
You can see the longest modern US 1A between Stockton Springs and Ellsworth, along with old US 1A over the Penobscot Narrows, in the Roadgap Bangor Loop exhibit.

Additional resources

<< Maine State Route 1 All Points in Maine US Highway 1A Business (Maine) >>
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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