2017-08-25 / Front Page

Air show to bring lots of traffic

Police taking steps to keep vehicles moving; ask for patience during 2-day event
BY DARCIE MOORE
Times Record Staff


THE NAVY BLUE ANGELS practice on Thursday near Brunswick Executive Airport in preparation for the Great State of Maine Air Show on Saturday and Sunday. 
JULIETTE LAAKA / THE TIMES RECORD THE NAVY BLUE ANGELS practice on Thursday near Brunswick Executive Airport in preparation for the Great State of Maine Air Show on Saturday and Sunday. JULIETTE LAAKA / THE TIMES RECORD BRUNSWICK

Local police are getting ready for the Great State of Maine Air Show this weekend, and say heavy traffic is expected.

Police are asking motorists to stay out of the Cook’s Corner area on Saturday and Sunday from 3:30-6:30 p.m. as traffic will be leaving Brunswick Landing. Brunswick Police Cmdr. Mark Waltz noted drivers will find they can’t make left-hand turns at some of the intersections, including at Merrymeeting Plaza, Rusty Lantern Market and Five Guys, during that three-hour period to help keep traffic flowing.

The last show in 2015 drew 40,000 people, according to Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Steve Levesque.

Waltz talked about what police are doing to handle a similar surge of traffic in town.

Air show admittance starts at 8 a.m., and the flying begins at noon Saturday and Sunday. The show wraps up at 6 p.m.

Due to federal regulations, no parking will be allowed on either side of Jordan Avenue from the bottom of the hill to Bath Road. Parking will also be banned on Bath Road near the open part of the runway. Those areas have no parking signs posted.

“We ask that people cooperate because, if not, they’ll get ticketed and perhaps towed if they leave their vehicles there,” Waltz said.

Motorists on Route 1 also need to keep moving and are restricted from pulling over to the side of the road. If they do, they will be moved along, Waltz said.

There will be no parking or trespassing at a field on Brunswick Landing located on the north side of the runway adjacent to Bath Road.

The trail accessed from Pine Street that leads to the north perimeter road on Brunswick Landing will also be closed while the Blue Angels are flying, Waltz said.


THE NAVY BLUE ANGELS practice Thursday in Brunswick. 
JULIETTE LAAKA / THE TIMES RECORD THE NAVY BLUE ANGELS practice Thursday in Brunswick. JULIETTE LAAKA / THE TIMES RECORD Coordinated traffic lights on Pleasant Street will be green for a longer period of time at the intersections of Stanwood Street, Church and River roads. This system was used for the first time at the last air show and made a big difference in how quickly police could dump traffic from Pleasant Street, Waltz said.

Motorists taking a left onto Pleasant Street from Stanwood Street will also find the two lanes on southbound Pleasant Street separated with cones to keep Route 1 traffic moving at all times in the exterior lane. There will be signs directing people to the highway.

There will also be very heavy traffic on Middle Bay and Mere Point roads as well as on Maine Street at the end of the show.

Except for the night shift crew, Waltz said all members of the department will be working during the air show with assistance from Sagadahoc County and Cumberland County sheriff ’s departments and Topsham Police Department.

Topsham traffic

The traffic signals along Route 196 in Topsham will also have extended green lights in order to move high volumes of traffic down Route 196 and the Coastal Connector from Interstate 295. Motorists should expect backups on the side streets along Route 196. Traffic on sides streets may sit at a red light for a couple minutes, but the light will turn green, said Topsham Police Chief Christopher Lewis.

Lewis added that vehicles should refrain from stopping or parking on and along the Merrymeeting Bridge which carries Route 196 traffic over the Androscoggin River to Route 1 in Brunswick.

“Leave yourself plenty of travel time and just know that the emphasis is going to be on traffic flowing along the Route 196 corridor before and after the air show,” Lewis said Thursday.

His department will have extra personnel working to make sure traffic stays clear at intersections.

“The biggest thing is, we’re looking for people to have patience,” Lewis said. “We have no idea what traffic is going to look like other than we anticipate heavy traffic flow.”

Their goal is to make sure everyone gets to and from the event with minimal complications.

dmoore@timesrecord.com

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