Is the East-West Highway a done deal? (Portland, Brunswick: transporting, purchases)
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Rumours, innuendo, and statements espousing a political bent that Vigue won't confirm or deny do not qualify as "answers." The most recent meeting with the Penobscot County Commissioners left all three of them scratching their heads. The picture that is forming is one of a fenced, private, limited-access highway that will be primarily utilized for trade between Maritime Canada and Quebec. Tandem, high-speed trucking, Canada to Canada transmission lines and Canada to Canada pipelines. Maximum of six access points. While "most states have an E-W highway" may be correct, those highways are infrastructure. I'd like to hear how much those darn socialist Canadians will have into this project, since the clear primary benefit will be to Canada. I'd also like to know if this is a straw-man game. A stateside entity "holding" for Canadian entities, both public and private. I don't think there are too many Mainers against an honest E-W highway for the State that went from St. Stephen to Gorham, NH via any of the older proposed routes. This road has little resemblance to that. If Vigue won't answer valid questions at these "Q&A" sessions, how is it that all of the "answers" are found in this thread?
That's the problem. The environmental industry opposes all improvements or development of any kind north of approximately Route 2 which goes to Seattle. You can't put your own driveway from I-95 to a new camp and you won't be able to do that on any limited access highway. That's why they call it "limited".
Some of the questions people ask don't have answers yet. Nobody knows where the road will go. As the environmental industry buys up land from frightened property owners at fire sale prices the ultimate route will change. There are environmentalists buying up key recreational properties so they can abolish snowmobile trails. They frighten property owners into selling to them.
Here's a fact for you: Most new toll roads in our country are foreign owned. Spain owns a lot of them from Virginia to Texas. I don't mean the Spanish government. I mean Spanish business interests.
"The picture that is forming" is made up of antidevelopment propaganda and unwarranted fears. Sure, there are questions that are unanswered. It will be impossible to answer all the questions until the land is purchased and town planning boards approve the route. By the way, the road will pay taxes to every town it touches, just like any landowner pays taxes.
Well, then. I guess there's no more to discuss if it's all an "environmental industry" lie and the "picture that is forming" is not of a fenced, limited access, high-speed, town-splitting, for-profit private highway entering Quebec a LONG ways from NH's north border, providing primary long-term benefit to the Provinces with some short term throw-offs in (those that Mainers will get) construction jobs, some property taxes and corporate income taxes. On the "jobs" part, I'll bet 85% or more of the workers currently doing transmission line expansion in Maine are from out of State. Clearing, grubbing and construction included. Ask 'em. Move along, nothing to see here.
Nothing but the sound of crickets on the E-W boondoggle over the past month. It will be interesting to see if Irving puts the fuel stations and truck facilities on each end in Canada or the U.S. Wanna bet Canada? No road tax, no registration of vehicles necessary, no repair facilities in the U.S., maybe a donut shop somewhere in the middle. For truckers, since I'll bet a few of those donuts that they won't want the liability of triple tandem trucks doing 85 miles an hour dodging the family sedan. What I get a kick out of is the people that are all for this thing that despise Roxanne Quimby for buying timberlands to preserve. I've never been a fan of Quimby's approach, either, but what she's doing seems a lot less harmful to the State of Maine than the 14,000 or so acres that this scar will close off to everyone. Kiss the Machias River goodbye. Oh, wait, there'll be an "ATV trail." There's some bait. I went downeast today (and limited out on nice brookies) and we were talking about how we would get to our fishing spot if the highway were built. Instead of driving 1.5 hrs. from Bangor, we'd have to go up to Springfield, across, back down Rt. 1 and in through W. Grand. Cute. Not well received at the Penobscot County Commissioner's meeting recently, either. Just more evasion. Now, the apparent reason for the crickets is clear. If the agenda keeps getting pushed, and it's out in the public eye, more people will start questioning the thing. Of course, either China or Spain will likely own it in the end.
When the paper industry sold all of its land the sellers left behind a virtual scorched earth. All of that land is contaminated by conservation easements, covenants codicils and conditions enough to tie it up in courts forever. The first east/west highway study was done in 1948. That predates the Stud Mill Road and the Golden Road. The feds never built an Interstate highway going east and west up here. Every decade or so, another study is done, but Portland area legislators always fight it.
Now a private company wants to build the road and the environmental industry is going berserk, right on schedule. They spread all kinds of lies. I attended a meeting two days ago and posted some statements from that meeting on the first page in this thread. Refer back to it from time to time. The project manager said that no recreational trails, farm roads or logging roads would be blocked. There would be a 220 mile recreational trail for all purposes along the corridor. You'll be able to ride an ATV from Quebec to New Brunswick across the rivers and across I-95.
Don't hyperventillate, RMoore007. The environmental industry lies.
As you ride down I-95 some time, take note of all the local roads that were dead ended by the new road. The private road won't do that. The project manager said so.
Yeah like our road! It used to go into Freeport now it's a fence and a highway!
Yeah. I don't think so. That's the political approach to argument. Funny how a bunch of very right-leaners out in the Dover to Corinth area aren't onboard with the blind political rah-rah. Some of their farms will be sliced in two. This isn't I-95. Not even remotely related, so that argument is a non-starter. I even might be convinced that it should be built, but, contrary to assertions, pertinent questions aren't being answered. But I picture zero-access, limited crossing, high speed highway with pipeline(s) and electrical transmission lines providing virtually zero trade or ongoing benefit to the State of Maine (or the U.S., for that matter) other than property and income taxes. I picture trucking and fueling facilities in Canada at each end. No road tax will be collected, no excise taxes, no registrations, nothing. Which is why this is all so "hush hush." They don't want to jinx it at this point. A 500' wide, 14,000+ acre slice dividing north and south Maine visible from space. But let me address your comment: it's O.K. in this instance, but why are Roxanne Quimby's purchases termed "rural cleansing"? Neither provides particularly great benefit to the State of Maine, but industrial use of Maine's resources for the benefit of Canada and industry is acceptable? I dunno. I would've voted for Peter Vigue if he'd have run for Governor, but his lack of candor of late raises questions.
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One of the big reasons is the pipelines. They are trying to get that tar sands oil to tideline, and putting it in New Brunswick near the Irving refinery is a big plus. The corridor is a way to get through Maine. We are just land lying between the Atlantic Provinces and the heart of the country. It's as if the Aroostook war never happened.
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