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citizens taking a "hard look" at the MDOT's I-395 Rt.9 study

Newspaper Articles

12.8.2015 m Capture

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4.26.2017: An opinion editorial from the co-chair of the JSC on Transportation.

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Click here to read Bangor Daily News OPED.

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2.19.2017 – The continued saga in Wiscasset and the issue of eminent domain:

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Click here to view complete article.

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2.16.2017 – Interesting article about what was once a “sister” project to the I-395/Route 9 Transportation Study with the same people involved, the same time period with similar costs.

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Click here to view entire BDN article.

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2.06.2017 – Another questionable bypass project as reported in the Bangor Daily News.

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Click here to view complete BDN article.

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2.02.2017 – Article posted in the Bangor Daily News:

mitigation 2.2.2017

BDN text 2.2.2017

 

Click here to view the complete Bangor Daily News article.

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1.25.2017 – Added comments to the recent BDN article – the MaineDOT and the FHWA had serious safety concerns with the 2B alternative, specifically with the use of Route 9 as an integral segment of the alternative; that alternative (2B) was removed from further consideration by January of 2003 and the reasons were well documented in an October 2003 Technical Memorandum. 2B-2 did not meet purpose and needs in April of 2009, yet now our state feels fit to spend $61 million to take this same alternative to construction…

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Click here to view the comment section of this BDN article.

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1.23.2017 – Bangor Daily News article posted online this morning and was front page-below the fold in today’s print issue. Many people are impacted by this questionable project to include those that, through no fault of their own, simply abut this connector and have already suffered a loss of valuation in their real estate with no instrument to recoup that loss – absolutely zero compensation…

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BDN article page 3 1.23.2017

I-395/Route 9 connector neighbors lament threat to home values

BDN article page 1 1.23.2017

BDN article page 2 1.23.2017

Click here to view complete BDN article with working hyperlinks.

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1.18.2017 – Bangor Daily News article posted 1.17.2017. Three things to take away from this article: First, the MaineDOT used to send out biweekly status reports which started in Nov2012 as every two weeks and rapidly into once a month or every few months before virtually disappearing. (See the biweekly report section on this website.) Issues like these could be cleared up easily by reinitiating the status report requirement. Second, when the MaineDOT 2017-2019 Work Plan contains $19 million of unmet bridge needs each year of the plan for an overall shortfall of $59 million each year of the plan in the Core Highway and Bridge Program (scroll down to view 1.09.2017 entry) – why did the DOT feel they could spend $7.25 million on a deficient connector that many impacted citizens and their duly elected community leaders have made perfectly clear that they do not support? Third, the $7.25 million appropriated for the connector is logically a continuation of the right-of-way and design process -BUT, that seems to be quite a bit of money to just buy the right-of-way. It’s our money – they need to be telling us what they are doing with it!!

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BDN article 1.17.2017

Click here to view article online with working hyperlinks.

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1.17.2017 – Recent Bangor Daily News article:

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BDN article 1.14.2017

Click here to view BDN article.

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11.29.2016 – Portland Press Herald article posted 11.28.2016:

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Click here to view Portland Press Herald article.

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11.23.2016: Bangor Daily News article from November 15th.

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Click here to view complete BDN article.

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11.06.2016: Interesting article-why do politicians promote new projects in favor of fixing the existing infrastructure? Basically, new projects are sexier than potholes and allows the politician a ribbon cutting talking point. AND-the states control the money that the Feds provide – in the case of this connector project – that’s 80% or $48.8 million. QUOTE: political incentives lead governments to direct resources to overly expensive or unnecessary projects and to underinvest in maintenance.

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Click here to view complete article.

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11.02.2016: When the MDOT destroys our existing wetland for this questionable project, they will have to mitigate the loss by protecting wetlands in another area; normally mitigation takes place within the same area – but now the MDOT will make these mitigations 65 miles away that will have lasting affects on residents of Newcastle and once again eminent domain raises its ugly head!!

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Click here to view Bangor Daily News article.

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11.01.2016: Portland Press Herald article.

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Click here to view Portland Press Herald article.

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10.15.2106: WLBZ October 14th report on Route 1A safety issues.

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Click here to view WLBZ Channel 2 report.

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Click here to view BDN report from March 26, 2016.

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10.13.2016: Added comment to the BDN for “I-395 connector unnecessary” letter to the editor below.

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Click here to view comments with working hyperlinks.

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10.11.2016: Also in the same letters to the editor posted on 10.11.2016. A better question would be: how much of this bond will end up funding 2B-2 when these funds really should go to rebuilding our infrastructure? 2B-2 will cost Maine taxpayers $61 million +++ at a time when the state cannot afford to even maintain our existing roads and bridges.

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Click here to view BDN Letters to the Editor for working hyperlinks.

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10.11.2016: Our Legislators continually complain about the lack of transportation funds at every turn – YET – the JSC Transportation acts more like an extension of the DOT than the check and balance to the DOT, the primary function of the JSC Transportation. That was very evident in our attempt in February 2015 to legislate the removal of 2B-2 from the process via LD 47. Until the DOT is forced to prioritize the maintenance of our existing failed roads and bridges before any new projects – especially a questionable project that does not meet the original purpose and needs and is unwanted by many – we will continue to face these enormous yearly shortfalls. Wouldn’t 2B-2’s $61 million cost go a long way to fund the unmet transportation needs of the state of Maine?

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Click here to view BDN Letters to the Editor for working hyperlinks.

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10/11/2016: We should not be surprised when opposition is ignored by the MDOT.

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Click here to view Kennebec Journal article.

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10/06/2016: Maybe if the MDOT stopped building these questionable new bypasses and instead repaired the roads and bridges we already have – we wouldn’t be voting on the 4th bond since the LePage administration took over – an administration that promised no new gas tax and no new bonds!!!

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Click here to view Bangor Daily News OPED.

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7/27/2016: Posted comment on the BDN Letters to the Editor.

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BDN comment page 3 7.27.16

Click here to view comment with working hyperlinks.

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7.20.2016 Bangor Daily News article.

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7.21.2016 BDN

Click here to view article on BDN website.

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7.19.2016: Bangor Daily News article.

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7.19.2016 BDN

Click here to view BDN article with working hyperlinks.

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7.06.2016: Once again – an accident on Route 1A in Holden brings traffic to a complete halt – as reported by the Bangor Daily News. The commenter is 100% correct that I-395 should be dumping most of the traffic onto Route 1A in Dedham – just as many have said in the past. SO – let’s instead – spend $61 million of transportation funds that we don’t have at a time when we can’t even afford to maintain our existing infrastructure on a connector to Route 9 that does not meet the original study purpose and needs and worry about Route 1A at some other time. Is this the best use of our limited transportation dollars?

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7.06.2016 BDN Comment

Click here to view BDN article.

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6.24.2016: Bangor Daily News article.

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Click here to view Bangor Daily News article with working hyperlinks.

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5.05.2016: A Portland Press Herald article from April 25, 2016. SO – tell us once again why we should spend $61 million on a connector (2B-2) that does not meet the original study purpose and needs – at a time when we cannot make necessary repairs to our existing infrastructure. It’s just dumb!!

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In a February 15, 2016 BDN article: “The DOT, when they issued their work plan about a month ago, said that we are running a deficit of about $168 million every single year just to keep up with basic maintenance for our roads and bridges,” McLean said. (Representative McLean is Co-Chair of the 127th JSC Transportation)

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SO – “…a deficit of about $168 million shortfall every single year just to keep up with basic maintenance for our roads and bridges.” YET – let’s waste another $61 million on a connector (2B-2) that satisfied only 20% of the purpose and needs in April 2009 and was removed from further consideration in January 2003 for safety concerns. IT’S JUST DUMB!!

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5.5.2016 portland herald article 4.25

Click here to view article on the Portland Press Herald website.

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4.29.2016: Bangor Daily News Letter to the Editor just posted for April 30, 2016.

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4.29.2016 LTE Smith

Click here to read Bangor Daily News LTE on-line.

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4.27.2016: Bangor Daily News on-line article just posted.

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4.27.2016 lyford revised

Click here to read complete article.

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4.24.2016: Bangor Daily News Letter to the Editor posted today.

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4.24.2016 DeBeck LTE

Click here to view document with working hyperlinks.

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4.18.2016: I-395 to get some much needed repairs this summer.

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Click here to view complete article.

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4.17.2016: Bangor Daily News article and Letter to the Editor for April 16th.

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Click here to view complete article.

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Click here to view Letter to the Editor.

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4.16.2016: Another transportation bond this November (expect another bond in 2017).

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4.16.2016 bonds

Click here to read article.

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4.11.2016: Bangor Daily News article in print and on-line. Front page and above the fold!!

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BDN 4.11.16 Front page

Click here for on-line version of Bangor Daily article.

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4.04.2016: Bangor Daily News Letter to the Editor posted online on 4.01.16 and in print on Saturday 4.02.16.

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4.4.2016 BGR LTE

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4.4.2016 Comment 1 to LTE

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4.4.2016 Comment 2 to LTE

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4.4.2016 Comment 3 to LTE

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4.4.2016 Comment 4 to LTE

Click here to view Bangor Daily News Letters to the Editor.

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3.29.2016: Front page and above the fold!!

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3.29.2016 BDN Hostage article

Click here to view online version.

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3.26.2016: Well – that pretty much sums up my Friday morning.

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3.26.2016 BDN article

Click here to view Bangor Daily News Article.

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3.09.2016: Two reports today on work proposed in Wiscasset. I must ask why the good people of Wiscasset get to “choose to do nothing” via a referendum vote while our voices have been squelched from day one?

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Click here to view document with working hyperlinks.

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12.16.2015: The MaineDOT may have shown their hand on the future of up to 30 more bridges in rural Maine at a time when the MaineDOT can’t even afford to maintain the roads and bridges we already have. They bemoan an annual $70 million in unmet bridge needs while vigorously promoting an expenditure of $61 million on an alternative (2B-2) that only met 20% (1 of 5) of purpose and needs in Apr 2009. 2B-2 was given the appearance of meeting purpose and needs by Dec 2010 by changing the study to make 2B-2 fit!! Note their use of: “inconvenience and angst”. They just don’t get it…

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Click here to view complete Portland Herald article.

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12.03.2015: Portland Herald Article (excerpted).

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Click here to view complete article.

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12.03.2015: Bangor Daily News Article.

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Click here to view complete article.

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11.28.2015: Bangor Daily News Article.

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Click here to read complete article.

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11.22.2015: Bangor Daily News Article.

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10.28.2015: Bangor Daily News article reference a new report by TRIP on the condition of Maine’s bridges. We patiently wait for the I-395/Route 9 Transportation Study FHWA Record of Decision (ROD) at the same time that a new transportation bond is awaiting voters, and TRIP reminds us once again of the poor condition of our state’s bridges. On one hand, the MaineDOT can’t afford to maintain the roads and bridges we already have while documenting $70 million in unmet bridge needs per year in their current work plan, but on the other hand they have no problem supporting a $61 million deficient project (2B-2) that does not satisfy the original Purpose and Needs and is nothing more than a band-aide on a problem that doesn’t exist anymore; the original concern was to get logging trucks off Route 46 and now that the mill is gone Canadian truckers have now become the replacement concern!!??  Aren’t there enough unmet transportation needs in this state that could better use 2B-2’s $61 million?

 

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Click here to view complete article and use hyperlinks.

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9/23/2015: Bangor Daily News Letter to the Editor for Thursday, September 24th.

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9/19/2015: Bangor Daily News Letter to the Editor for Monday, September 21st.

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8/25/2015: Bangor Daily News article posted on website. Remember when you were told last January that the project was not in the 3 year Work Plan and you thought you could get a rest from this for at least 3 years; guess again – these plans are often amended…

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Click here to view complete article.

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8/06/2015: BDN reports on “a possible resolve about whether to support or oppose the state’s  preferred route for the planned Interstate 395-Route 9 connector road.”

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8/01/2015: Bangor Daily News article posted on website reference Highway Trust Fund.

8.1.2015 CaptureClick here to view complete Bangor Daily News article.

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6/10/2015: A Press Herald article dated 5.20.2015 with some interesting observations.

“…as the transportation agency struggles to maintain the existing infrastructure.”

“…the money collected from the gas tax can fund the engineering and 

design of road and bridge projects, but not actual construction.”

 “…we don’t have a penny to spend on a road or a bridge. Nothing.”

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The I-395/Route 9 Transportation Study has been ongoing since the year 2000. By Sept 2010 (3EIK-2) the original preferred alternative was removed and replaced with alternative 2B-2, an alternative that does not satisfy the original Study Purpose and Needs. 2B-2’s coronation was not known by the general public until January 2012. How much has this study cost us so far? I believe it has cost $2.75+ million to date and the study continues. Why expend those kind of funds when we apparently do not have the money to even maintain the roads and bridges we already have, let alone spend another $61+ million on an alternative that many do not see the need for.

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5/14/2015: Bangor Daily News article.

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3/3/2015: BDN article: Governor LePage is looking for an additional $100 million per year to rebuild Maine’s failing bridges, YET, theI-395/Route 9 Transportation Study Moves on…

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2/27/2015: Just posted on the BDN website:

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2/23/2015: Bangor Daily News Letter to the Editor:

2.23.2015 a2/24/2015: I added my own comment:

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Click here to view FOAA documents:

 

2/24/2015:  Two more comments.

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Bangor Daily News article 2/17/2015: “Committee rejects bill that would halt I-395, Route 9 connector”. Whether LD 47 is passed or not; it does not negate the fact that 2B-2 does not meet the Purpose and Needs for this project. All that information is posted on this website, for all to see. 2B-2 does not satisfy system linkage near term needs for the entire 20 year design life of the project. It’s really that simple – just read for yourself…

 

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Click here to read the Bangor Daily News article.

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Governor LePage looking for additional monies to rebuild bridges

3 March 2015 – The Governor is looking for an additional $100 million per year to fix Maine’s failing bridges, yet the I-395/Route 9 Study keeps moving on…

 

Eddington Selectman vote to support 2B-2

27 February 2015 – Selectman voted in support of 2B-2 by a 3 to 2 vote.

 

LD 47 defeated

17 February 2015 – LD 47 work session, voted 8 to 1 ought not to pass.

 

Legislative Hearing

03 February 2015 – Community resistance continues, calling it “a complete waste of taxpayer dollars” and a “short-term, Band-Aid fix,” which just a few years ago failed to meet the state’s own project requirements.

 

Final Environmental Impact Statement Released

02 February 2015 – State insists it’s beneficial, community resistance continues

 

Representative Verow’s 2B-2 Resolve

16 January 2015 – LD 47 to ask for a public hearing that will lead to the removal of 2B-2 from consideration.

 

MaineDOT announces new 2015-2016-2017 Work Plan

12 January 2015 – connector not in this current work plan…

 

US Fish, Wildlife Service issues report on proposed I-395-Route 9 connector

23 September 2014 – the Biological Opinion we have waited for since January has finally been released. The USFWS sees no problem approving 2B-2; it should come as no surprise since the USFWS sent a letter in Dec 2011 to the MaineDOT stating that they believed they would be able to support alternative 2B-2. So why did we just wait 8 months for a sugar-coated report when the USFWS had already basically approved the selection several years ago?

 

Connector not in current 3 year Work Plan

21 Jan 2014 – Awaiting Biological Opinion from USFWS before completing FEIS. Future work cannot be scheduled until the Record of Decision is received. (FYI: ROD can be issued 30 days following the FEIS.)

 

Bangor Daily News Letter to the Editor  titled “Fix Roads, Bridges”

27 September 2013

 

Brewer Leaders seek to squash 2B-2 alternative

19 Sept 2013 – Representative Verow filed LR 2435 to remove 2B-2. 

 

FOAA briefing in Eddington by Gretchen Heldmann

17 Apr 2013 – Downgrade in  criteria to rolling rural with 100′ ROW. 

 

MaineDOT “shares” 1,239 pages of FOAA

15 Apr 2013 FOAA filed Oct 2012 and Eddington paid for FOAA.

 

Bangor Daily News Letter to the Editor titled “Road cents”

8 Apr 2013

 

Eddington Official sues the MaineDOT for documents

12 Feb 2013 – Gretchen Heldmann filed her lawsuit on 11 Jan 2013 for lack of data to back up MaineDOT’s “hard look at Route 9”.

 

Funding issues with Maine’s road maintenance                                           

11 Dec 2013

 

Civil Engineers grade Maine’s infrastructure

6 Dec 2012

 

Eddington leaders upset over lack of information

21 Oct 2012 – Selectman file FOAA request with MaineDOT.

 

Public comments are “telling” per ACOE official                                         

10 Jun 2012 – Of course they are telling, where are our answers?

 

Bangor Daily News Opinion Piece: 2B or not 2B?

15 May 2012 – A summary of what 2B-2 is and what 2B-2 isn’t.

 

Residents unhappy with lack of answers                                                             

2 May 2012 – No answers offered by any official at the Public Hearing. Nobody rose to testify in favor of the 2B-2/preferred alternative.

 

Opposition grows as Eddington Open House nears 

28 Apr 2012 – Selectman remove support via Resolve; petition with 180 signatures of Eddington residents against 2B-2 is offered to the board.

 

ACOE now accepting comments

20 Apr 2012 – Public comments due by 15 May.

 

Residents express dissatisfaction at Open House

4 Apr 2012 – Government officials get an ear-full of complaints.

 

Open House schedule for Brewer and Eddington                                         

2 Apr 2012 – Schedule for Brewer and Eddington open houses.

 

Brewer City Council withdraws project support 

13 Mar 2012 – Council removes support of project via  Resolve.

 

Brewer City Council acts against alternative 2B-2

12 Mar 2012 – Resolve of non-support being considered.

 

Brewer City Council Briefing on changes to Study                                    

10 Jan 2012 – Resident briefs the City Council on 2B-2 issues.

 

MaineDOT apologizes for lack of project transparency                            

6 Jan 2012 – MaineDOT has maintained complete silence on study.

 

Communities stunned by new choice for Connector                           

5 Jan 2012 – The new preferred alternative is 2B-2!