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] US Highway 302 (Maine)
[US 302 in Portland.]
<< Interstate 295 (Maine) All Points in Maine Interstate 395 (Maine) >>

Termini and Mileage (2006)

Termini (in-state)
Main alignment: Int of BRIDGTON RD, FOREST AV, Portland to End of MAIN ST, Fryeburg
Mileage (in-state)
Main alignment: 54.15 miles (total over all segments)

Regional and National Route Information

National termini
Portland, ME to Montpelier, VT
Mileage (nationwide): 171 miles

History as Pole Highway (1919-1925)
Part of the Theodore Roosevelt International Highway as White - "T.R." - White; see text.
History as New England Interstate (1925)
Originally NEI 18. See also ME 18.
History as US Highway
Designated 1935.

Notes and History

US 302 is Maine's shortest non-bannered US highway, first designated in 1935 over former NEI 18/ME 18. As did NEI 18, it terminates today in Portland and proceeds northwest to cross the state line into New Hampshire at Fryeburg via Raymond and Bridgton. Comparatively minor due to its length (both within the state and without) and the small communities it services, it is nevertheless a handy alternative link for traffic accessing the coast from points inland. As with ME 18, the route number it carried formerly, it represents former lettered highway B.

Like US 201, another comparatively less trafficked US route, it has largely been unmolested by realignments. Here are some of the known changes:

  • Portland. Historically US 302, and ME 100 by 1936, have entered downtown Portland together and run co-routed for much of their routings on Forest Avenue, just as former NEI 18/ME 18 did -- the question is where they terminated. Although there are few satisfactory maps to determine the exact terminus in 1925, by 1937 a WPA map shows US 302 (along with then-ME 3, ME 26 and ME 100) approaching the harbour along Forest Ave, picking up ME 25 at Winslow St and terminating somewhere between Park Ave and State Sts. By 1949, the next good detailed look at the city on the Maine official maps, US 302 has moved off Forest, branching off it at Deering Ave to intersect ME 25 at Brighton Ave. From there, both routes are co-signed on Deering south to US 1 along Park Avenue, where they terminate. The final 1967 route log implies in the definition of ME 25 that that was still the case, and the official maps do not clearly show US 302 back on Forest with ME 100 as it is today until 1981. It is possible that it had been shifted before then, but unfortunately the placement of the US 302 shield on the city maps during the 1970s is too ambiguous to draw conclusions, and the general atlas does not distinguish them either. Today, its official terminus is at the I-295/US 1 interchange; it's somewhat confusing why Bridgton Rd is in the terminus description. It is much clearer in the 2002 route log, which has exactly the same mile length and therefore almost certainly had the same termini.

    Note that as a result, US 302 and ME 100 do not terminate at the same point today, and ME 100 actually continues past US 302's ending at I-295/US 1 (despite the signage, which as usual states otherwise).

  • Fosters Corners. US 302 and ME 4/US 202 intersect at a later traffic rotary; as this didn't actually change US 302's routing, just where they intersected, see US 202.

  • Raymond. US 302 now occupies a bypass alignment to the southeast signed as the Roosevelt Trail. The former alignment is Main St, partially ME 121 today, and can be seen on the 1944 topo (warning: large image). Comparative analysis of ME 121's length places this change at approximately 1956, consistent with the 1957 topo (warning: large image) showing this change as completed.

  • Casco. In South Casco, US 302/ME 35 now occupies a curve-reduced alignment now signed as the Roosevelt Trail. The old alignment is in two parts and variously signed as S Casco Village Rd and Hams Hill Rd, as seen on the 1943 topo (warning: large image). The modern alignment appears by the 1962 general atlas.

    Continuing north, US 302/ME 35 cross the Crooked River on a newer 1958 crossing, replacing the previous one which still survives north of the current route as Hillside Ave and can be seen on the 1943 topo (warning: large image).

  • Naples-Mast Cove. US 302 has a small old portion signed as Mast Cove Ln and can be seen on the 1943 topo (warning: large image). The current alignment appears on the 1962 general atlas.

  • Bridgton. The 1949 topo (warning: large image) implies that US 302 was routed on Kansas Rd into Main St, picking up the modern routing west of there. However, the 1949 official map disagrees and shows the modern alignment; in addition, the current alignment existed as early as the 1896 topo (warning: large image), and the 1934 National Surveys map also shows the modern alignment as current, so the 1949 topo is likely in error. It is unclear if the realignment of ME 117 shown on the map is also wrong.

North of Portland, US 302 is variously referred to as the Roosevelt Trail and the 10th Mountain Division Highway. The Roosevelt Trail is named after President Theodore Roosevelt ("Teddy"), who was a frequent denizen of the route for his camping trips in Maine, and was the earlier of the two names hailing from the former designation as the Theodore Roosevelt International Highway. The Tenth Mountain Division Highway designation did not come into use until 2001, named for the fascinating 10th Mountain Division of the Army who were established as a harsh-conditions elite unit, even including winter combat on skis, for World War II. It was established by the other Roosevelt, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, at the lobby of skiing pioneer Charles Minot Dole, and its soldiers were trained in the rarified air of Camp Hale near Leadville, CO. First activated in the Pacific theatre for Kiska, the division saw its first true combat in northern Italy in 1944. Deactivated in 1958, it was reinstated by President Ronald Reagan in 1984 with its new base to be Fort Drum, New York, and officially activated in 1985 as the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry). This new, repurposed division saw action in Desert Shield/Desert Storm (Iraq), Operation Restore Hope (Somalia), medical and humanitarian missions to Haiti and Bosnia and the current campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq, giving it the reputation as the Army's most deployed division. Former Senator and Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole is a veteran of the 10th Mountain Division; many nationally known ski sites today, including Vail and Aspen in Colorado, were also founded by 10th Division veterans, including Vail founder Pete Siebert.

Near US 302 in East Fryeburg is the Hemlock Bridge, approximately three miles north of the highway over an old channel of the Saco River. Built in 1857, this 109' covered truss is one of the two oldest surviving covered spans in Maine and still carries traffic today after a 1988 retrofit (the other bridge is the Lowes Bridge in Guilford-Sangerville). Due to its historical value and continued utility in the modern age, it was designated a State Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 2002. It can be accessed via Hemlock Bridge Rd and heading northwest. For another covered bridge still in service, see ME 15.

Archival Photographs

[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] Enlargement showing US 302 and ME 11 in Naples, in the 1940s. Both shields can be seen on the left side of the road. (Private photographer in author's collection.)
[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] Old US 302 in Raymond in the 1940s. This is probably the former Main St alignment. (Private photographer in author's collection.)

Additional Resources

<< Interstate 295 (Maine) All Points in Maine Interstate 395 (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.

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