Proposal for Explore Penobscot Narrows Plan


Prepared By:

The Hancock County Planning Commission
395 State Street
Ellsworth, Maine 04605
(207) 667-7131   (207) 667-2099 (fax)   /


Executive Summary

This proposal outlines steps to be taken toward the creation of a Bucksport Area intermodal transportation plan.  Recent changes in the regional economy, transportation infrastructure, and community revitalization provide the right environment for a careful review of the opportunities to develop passenger transportation options to support tourism and economic development, while providing mobility options to the residents of the region. This plan will incorporate input from towns, state agencies and transportation stakeholders with short, medium and long range demand forecasts to guide future planning and investments.


The four towns located around the Penobscot Narrows, Bucksport, Orland, Prospect and Verona Island, constitute a mini-region at the crossroads between the larger labor markets of Bangor, Ellsworth and Belfast.   Each of these towns has functioned independently, but all are increasingly connected by evolving economies, land use and transportation linkages.  Building upon natural, historic, and economic resources this emerging region has the potential to:

Transportation is a critical element in the unfolding of the Penobscot Narrows’ economic development.  Route 1, Route 15, and Route 46 serve as year-round commuting corridors and truck freight routes. Route 1 serves as a major seasonal tourist route between June and September.  Major transportation initiatives are increasing mobility through the region.  These include:

Questions to be answered include:



Critical elements for this planning process will be

Task One: Public Involvement:

Task Two: Inventory of existing conditions, transportation infrastructure and services

Task Three: Inventory of existing land use policies that impact transportation

Task Four: Demand forecasts for 5, 10 and 20 years, based on population and socio-economic trends, for:

Highway use (employing secondary information as available):




Access to attractions:

Commuter and residents needs:

Task Five: Identify feasible transportation investments

Task Six:  Draft and Final Reports:

A draft report will be prepared for review by all partners and the public. A final report, with an executive summary will be prepared following a comment period on the draft report.  100 copies of the Summary and 25 copies of the full report will be provided, as well as a CD of the report.  Interim documents, maps and illustrations will be maintained on a publicly accessible web site.

Local involvement in the planning process is a key to assuring that the proposed changes serve local as well as regional needs.  Local involvement in planning is also an essential element in marshaling local resources for implementation.  The Hancock County Planning Commission (HCPC) would manage the public involvement process, including creation of a local advisory committee, providing information to the press, sponsoring initial open-ended meetings for idea solicitation and organizing design workshop(s). 

Coordination with community and economic development will be managed by David Milan, Economic Development Director for the town of Bucksport.  The Hancock County Planning Commission, Eastern Maine Development Corporation, Coastal Acadia Development Corporation and the Bucksport Area Chamber of Commerce are expected to contribute as well. 


Summary of Project Tasks



Task 1

Public Involvement

Task 2

Inventory of existing transportation infrastructure and services.

Task 3

Inventory of existing and potential land use policies that impact transportation

Task 4

Demand forecasts

Task 5

Identify feasible transportation investments

Task 6

Draft and Final Reports

EMDC Subcontract

Public Involvement