US 1 is a US Highway in the US state of Maine. The road forms a north-south route that also runs east-west along the coast and through the northeast of the state, from the New Hampshire border at Kittery via Portland, Brunswick, Calais and Caribou to the Canadian border at Fort Kent. The road is 810 kilometers long.
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The US 1 in Portland.
At Kittery, US 1 in New Hampshire enters the state of Maine from Portsmouth and then parallels Interstate 95 or the Maine Turnpike to the north, a short distance from the coast. From the road you sometimes have a view of the Atlantic Ocean, and the road leads through several tourist towns on the coast. One passes through Kennebunk, then through the twin towns of Biddeford and Saco. In Saco, the road goes through downtown and crosses the river of the same name, connecting with Interstate 195, a short spurfrom I-95 to the coast. The road then continues to the city of Portland, the state’s largest city with a population of 63,000. Before the River Fore, the road merges with Interstate 295 for its route through downtown. The Alternate US 1 follows a road on city roads. US 1 exits north of downtown and runs parallel to I-295 north through Falmouth.
US 1 and I-295 converge a short distance to Brunswick, before US 1 turns east to follow Maine’s highly articulated coast. The section between Brunswick and Bath has been developed as a highway, including a number of bridges over the delta of the River Kennebec. The area is touristy and beautiful, with lakes and forests. The road runs through Thomaston to Rockland, where US 1 branches north to go around Penobscot Bay to Belfast, and on to Bucksport via the Penobscot Narrows Bridge. The Alternate US 1 then follows a more northerly route via the city of Bangor, which is located about 35 kilometers to the north. At Ellsworth both roads come together again, after which a connection is made to Mount Desert Island, on which the Acadia National Park is located. US 1 then follows the coast eastwards, past numerous fishing villages, before bending north and running north along the border with the Canadian province of New Brunswick. One passes through the town of Calais, where the first connection is to the Canadian road network.
US 1 even turns back west here, and later north, for a long route north to Houlton. This area is already becoming a lot less populated. The area is slightly hilly and covered with dense forests. You then reach the town of Houlton, where you cross US 2, the east-west route to Bangor and New Hampshire. Then you come right past the northern end of Interstate 95, which ends a few miles to the east on the border with Canada. US 1 then continues north through Presque Isle and Caribou, still parallel to the New Brunswick border. The road follows the St. John River, which forms the boundary. Here and there are bridges that lead to Canada. At Madawaska is the major border crossing with Canada that leads to Edmundston and the Trans-Canada Highway, but US 1 continues a little further west, ending at Fort Kent on the border with Canada, in far northwest New Brunswick.
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US 1 was created in 1926 but was previously known as NE-1 south of Calais and NE-24 north of it. The road was then called the Atlantic Highway south of Calais. US 1 originally ran through Bangor. On November 16, 1931, the Waldo–Hancock Bridge over the mouth of the Penobscot River was opened, avoiding the detour via Bangor. The old route is now US 1 Alternate. In the 1950’s the highway was built through Brunswick, which now serves I-295 and US 1. In the 1960s, a small section of US 1 between Brunswick and Bath was converted into a highway. In 2006, the new Penobscot Narrows Bridge opened replacing the 1931 Waldo-Hancock Bridge.