May 24, 2019

East-west drawbacks

I was disappointed but not at all surprised by Gov. King’s support of an east-west high-speed highway across northern Maine. Such a highway would be of little benefit to the people of Maine and out of character with the North Maine Woods, woods many of us have grown to love and enjoy.

What would be gained is a highway that would benefit mostly truckers, out-of-state tourists and Canadians seeking an alternative and slightly faster route to east-west destinations in Canada. Minimal benefit would be realized by the average Mainer and money associated with construction of such a highway would, in all likelihood, be realized by large out-of-state construction companies, not small Maine businesses.

The consequences of such a highway are dire and not worth whatever perceived benefits exist. This highway would open the door and hang out the welcome mat for much of the north woods to private developers, a consequence that possibly would result in lost public access to much of the north woods that many tourists and Mainers alike to this part of the state every year. Gov. Percival Baxter would roll over in his grave if he were aware that a high-speed road was being considered through the forests of northern Maine which he loved and attempted to preserve for Maine people.

If Gov. King is truly interested in providing an east-west corridor for moving goods and people, why not consider a railway? Such a venture would provide less impact to the environment, protect the Maine woods, provide more opportunity to manage development and achieve the same objectives of a high-speed road. Jeffrey S. Hansen Sidney

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