by Robert Sezak
Taxpayer dollars, secrecy and private interests are all we know about the east-west highway proposal.
Taxpayer money amounting to $300,000 will be diverted from roads and bridges needing upgrade and repair to a private company whose spokesman only talks in vague terms.
How wide will it be? 2,000 feet? How long? 220 miles? From where to where? O Canada, for sure.
It’s a huge land grab; 2,000 feet by 220 miles is more than 53,000 acres. The highway would bisect the great North Woods and despoil the diminishing deer population. This much land at stake begs for the eminent domain statute to kick in, spawning tremendous lawsuits and court battles, expending a fortune in taxpayer money.
Why not invest in the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway and the Eastern Maine Railway, which runs from Quebec through Jackman, Brownsville, Danforth and Vanceboro back into New Brunswick as a cargo and passenger carry railroad and use its right-of-way for utility development? There is also Stud Mill Road, connecting Baileyville to Milford.
Much can be made from existing roads and rights-of-way.