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[RoadsAroundME main page] Maine State Route 4
<< Maine State Route 3 All Points in Maine Maine State Route 4A >>

Termini and Mileage (2006)

Main alignment: Int of SOUTH BERWICK-NEW H, South Berwick to End of ST RTE 4, Rangeley
Main alignment: 168.85 miles (total over all segments)

Regional and National Route Information

History as New England Interstate (1925)
The oldest alignment between Sanford and Alfred was once part of NEI 11, and is now ME 4A (and later US 202).

Notes and History

The first "low-numbered" route to emerge out of the demise of the New England Interstates and the rise of the US highway system, ME 4 was first defined in 1931 as a "continuation" of US 4 in New Hampshire (and even appears as such in the first route log [1932] it is listed in, with its administrative definition reading "Continuation of Route U.S. 4"), despite the fact that US 4 does not reach the Maine border although coming close, so the alleged continuation was and is an indirect one (today via NH 4, NH 9, itself former NEI 9 [now ME 9 in Maine], and any number of cross-connectors of which the Spaulding Turnpike is probably the most useful). Owing to its length and history, it is an important route in the western part of the state, especially after significant portions of it were cosigned with US 202.

As defined in 1931, it proceeded from its then and present terminus in South Berwick along new routing and old ME 214 to Sanford, then into Alfred along what is now ME 4A over the old NEI 11 alignment (former lettered highway U), from there along old ME 111 and another portion of future ME 4A to Gorham, along new routing and old ME 115 to Gray, co-routing with ME 100 to Auburn, then taking almost all of ME 107 to Rangeley, a large portion of ME 144 to Stratton, and then the entirety of ME 143 to Eustis and from there a treacherous local road (variously marked as "Dangerous" and "Narrow" in a number of the contemporary maps) to Quebec. This persisted through the Maine Great Renumbering, although several routes were overlaid onto it, most notably US 202 (as well as ME 3; ME 16 from Rangeley to Stratton; and interestingly ME 115 over part of the routing it had previously lost), and in 1937-8 its routing through Bar Mills was swapped for a new bypass alignment (with the former alignment becoming one of the ME 4A routings).

In 1946-7, the once mighty route was stripped from the border and its alignment to Quebec between Stratton and Coburn Gore Township given to ME 27; ME 4 was cut to Rangeley at ME 16, leaving ME 16 to run the old alignment by itself. During this same period, it was moved to the bypass routing of the former ME 4A near Sanford and its old routing received the ME 4A designation instead. Finally, in 1951, ME 4 was extended back along ME 16 to terminate once again on the banks of Mooselookmeguntic Lake and Haines Landing where it still does today, along the stub Oquossoc-Haines Ldg alignment which was then signed ME 144.

Due to its close association with US 202, ME 4 is an important arterial for the Auburn-Lewiston region and much of the communities on the western side of the Androscoggin. For this reason several upgrades have occurred to the route, including a 1973 realignment of ME 4 north of US 202 in Auburn (from its old routing along Court St and Pleasant St/Turner St, to Union St, its current alignment). For realignments related to US 202, see that entry.

ME 4 is one of Maine's multi-state routes with New Hampshire (see also ME 9, ME 11, ME 16, ME 25, ME 26, ME 109 and ME 110).

ME 4 now carries part of former lettered highway F (from old ME 107).

See also ME 4A and ME 4S.

Archival Photographs

[Thumbnail image. Select for 640x480.] Construction and upgrades of Union St for the ME 4 bypass in Auburn, replacing the old routing along Court and Turner Sts (Transportation News 7/73).
Additional Resources

Maine Highways: Route 4 (JP Kirby)

<< Maine State Route 3 All Points in Maine Maine State Route 4A >>
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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