Acadia Gateway Project Gets Big Grant

TRENTON — A $3-million grant for the next phase of the Acadia Gateway Center project here has been awarded to the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) by the Federal Transit Administration.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) announced the grant on Aug. 27.

It will help pay for construction of a 13,000-square-foot transit hub and visitor information building, as well as a large parking lot for people who want to leave their cars at the Gateway Center and take the Island Explorer bus to Mount Desert Island.

Designers have not yet put a price tag on construction of the building. A year ago, MDOT officials estimated the cost at $10.5 million. But that was for a facility nearly twice as large the one now being planned.

“The reduction in size is the result of all the stakeholders and users putting their heads together and re-evaluating what their functional and operational needs are,” Joel Kittredge, the MDOT project manager for the Gateway Center, said recently.

The building will serve as a bus boarding facility, an Acadia National Park welcome center and an information center operated by area chambers of commerce.

Construction of the first phase of the Gateway Center complex, a bus maintenance and storage facility, was completed last fall.

For the next phase of the project, MDOT officials applied for an $8.36-million grant from the Federal Transit Administration, but they learned in June that the grant was not being awarded.

The MDOT has $3 million in state and federal funds for designing the next phase, and that work is under way.

Now, with the $3 million federal grant announced this week, the MDOT is looking for the rest of the money needed for construction.

For more of the latest news, pick up a copy of the Mount Desert Islander.

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]