March 12, 2013

Common sense needed for east/west road plans

Letter to the Editor

The east/west corridor needs to be built. But how?

Both sides of the controversy need a dose of reality; especially the one that says the road will increase carbon emissions and cause cancer. What?

It will in fact decrease carbon emissions. When built, vehicles will be able to continue throughout Maine without having to slow to 25 through every small town and without having to stop at every red light along Route 9, U.S. Route 2, U.S. Route 201 or Route 27 from Calais to Gilead, Coburn Gore or Jackman.

It also will decrease carbon emissions because the route will be shorter.

The vehicles will no longer travel on the Trans-Canadian Highway around the top of Maine to get from Nova Scotia to Quebec City or Montreal. Some comments such as the cancer comment are better left untouched and, yes, it will create jobs.

Major Canadian highways are privately constructed and maintained, so why not here?

But why carve out a huge section of controversial wilderness area, when existing roadways could be enhanced to do the same job?

What about widening Route 9 from Calais to Bangor into a four-lane divided highway, with a toll midway? Connect it to Interstate 95 by Interstate 395 in Brewer. On I-95, just past Newport, make a new exit and begin the new section of four-lane toll highway to the border.

The changes would carve up a lot less wilderness and it would use current roadway infrastructure. It would not cost Maine much more in annual maintenance as the structure is already in place.

This makes a lot more sense except to Cianbro, which, it seems, would be making money from the longer road.

Common sense should be brought into this discussion from both sides.

Bob Sloma

St. Albans

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