Citizens take a “hard look” at MaineDOT’s I-395/Route 9 Study.

Everything 2B-2 for 2016 (Jan-Jun)

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6.28.2016: FHWA document dated 6.  2016 titled: “Re-evaluation of based on Comments Received. I (Larry Adams) was the Brewer citizen to barrage the FHWA with emails of which have been added previously to this website. More “government speak” with no real answers to the majority of my questions – especially the one where I asked why one of the signators on this very same document below advised the MaineDOT in December 2011 that alternative 2B-2 no longer met purpose and needs because of recent study criteria changes and any analysis going forward from that point would be “apples to oranges”. Any question or comment painting 2B-2 in a negative fashion continues to be ignored – see my comments below on June 26th…

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rod reevaluation page 1

rod reevaluation page 2

rod reevaluation page 3

rod reevaluation page 4

Click here to view document in pdf format.

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6.26.2016 quotes

 

 

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6.26.2016: Comments to Bangor Daily News article below.

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6.26.2016 comments to BDR ROD

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6.24.2016: Bangor Daily News article.

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BDN article 6.24.16 page 0

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BDN article 6.24.16 page 1BDN article 6.24.16 page 2

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6.24.2016: The latest update from MaineDOT. The ROD is out:

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ROD email 6.24.2016

Click here to view Record of Decision.

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6.22.2016: Portland Press Herald article posted on line on June 21st. I have bolded a few highlights – comments to follow…

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6.22.2016.page1 Portland article

6.22.2016.page2 Portland article6.22.2016.page3 Portland article

Click here to view article on-line.

6.22.2016 comment page 1

6.22.2016 comment page 2

6.22.2016 comment page 3

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5.27.2016: Latest from the MaineDOT.

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study update 5.27.2016

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5.13.2016: Bangor Daily News article on-line May 12th. Yes – Governor – we feel the same way about 2B-2: nobody listens – we weren’t kept abreast of all the meetings either – the fix was in as the MDOT already made up their minds and 2B-2 will be constructed against the will of many local Mainers – a frank and open dialogue has never happened as the only Public Hearing since 2B-2 was selected was a listening-only-session – the MDOT will not provide an on-the-record two-way question-and-answer session that is so deserved on such a critical matter. Yes – Governor – it defies logic that at a time when the state cannot even afford to maintain our existing roads and bridges – we are even discussing this project let alone funding it for $61 million. Wouldn’t 2B-2’s $61 million be better spent on Maine’s unmet existing transportation needs? No one will listen, the fix is in and our efforts have been marginalized at every turn. Whether it’s the East/West Highway, the I-395/Route 9 Connector, a park or a national monument – we understand the frustration when citizens have absolutely no say on significant issues that affect their lives.

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5.12.2016 lepage

Click here to view complete BDN article.

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5.08.2016: It’s amazing what you can find on google. The FHWA is still high-fiving an initiative that the LePage administration cancelled in 2011. How did we get from these proclamations in a BDN 1.08.2012 article – within two days of the MaineDOT apology for 2B-2’s “forced-introduction” as the second preferred alternative of the I-395/Route 9 Transportation Study: “We’ve really got to focus more on maintaining our top critical infrastructure…the department’s economy-stressed budget would be better spent on maintenance as opposed to large capitol projects.” to: spending $61 million on an alternative (2B-2) that met only 20% of study purpose and needs in April 2009?

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AND – don’t forget the Presque Isle Bypass a 3-phase project with a $120 million cost – the first phase being 1.5 miles at a cost of $14 million!! At a time when the state can’t afford to maintain existing infrastructure – these questionable projects need to be stopped – MaineDOT’s bypass-mentality needs to be refocused to maintenance and preservation of the existing infrastructure and not one more foot of new asphalt until our roads and bridges are brought back up to an acceptable level – a level deserved by Maine citizens and not a level determined by politics…

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Wouldn’t the $61 million cost of alternative 2B-2 be better spent on our state’s unmet transportation needs?? This is your money!!

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5.7.2016 cancelled projects

Click here to view FHWA website article titled FHWA-Livability-Case Studies.

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Click here to view Bangor Daily article dated 1.08.2012.

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5.06.2016: A must read about what’s wrong with our DOT – a different excerpt from the one previously posted including a comment to help the author fill in the blanks. An excellent article from someone with no dog in the fight.

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5.5.2016 terribly wrong

5.5.2016 comments page 1

5.5.2016 comments page 2

Click here to read entire document.

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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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5.01.2016: A compilation of the happenings from the March 25th BACTS meeting until the end of April.

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4.30.2016 april newsletter page 1

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4.30.2016: Recent tweets.

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4.30.2016 tweet outcome of project

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4.30.2016 tweet 1

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4.30.2016 tweet 3

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4.30.2016 tweet 2

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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

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4.27.2016: Received this link today through the website administrative email. A powerful article that asks a simple question: WHAT ARE YOU DOING, MAINE?

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4.27.2016 strong towns revision

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4.27.2016: Link to this morning’s interview on The Pulse AM 620 on WZON.

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4.27.2016 WZON facebook

Click here to listen to Gretchen’s interview.

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4.26.2016: Recent tweets to #I-395 Route 9 Connector.

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4.25.2016: Upcoming event with Gretchen and our friends at The Pulse-WZON AM 620.

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4.25.2016 Gretchen interview

Click here for on-line streaming of WZON AM 620.

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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

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4.24.2016: An upcoming visit to Brewer from Senator King’s office.

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4.21.2016 King upcoming events

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4.24.2016: An email sent to our Federal Delegation on 2.22.2016 and a response received on 4.21.2016.

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email to delegation salmon-alternate download

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response from Senator King-alternate download

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4.22.2016: I always remark that our questions and concerns are hidden away in a book that no one will read – here’s the book!!

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where our questions go to die

Click here to view Draft Responses to Substantive Comments.

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4.22.2016: Don’t let MaineDOT’s own words stay buried in a book that no one will read. These are their words – not mine…

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negatively and severely affect

Click here to view above document.

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4.21.2016: A newer version of the MaineDOT Preliminary Plans dated April 2013 can be viewed on the study website.

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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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4.17.2016 a Capture

Click here to view complete article.

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4.17.2016 b Capture

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

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4.16.2016: To see if you are directly impacted or indirectly impacted by alternative 2B-2 click here to view the Engineering Plans of August 2011. Those property owners directly impacted and those abutting the impacted area are named in the plan.

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4.15.2016: The latest status update from the MaineDOT.

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status 4.15.2016

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4.14.2016

4.14.2016 newsletterfrontpage

 

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4.13.2016: A rebuttal to the March 25th BACTS meeting and comments in the April 10th BDN article: “Jonathan Nass, deputy director of the Department of Transportation, said the state has taken great care to consider the concerns of residents, pointing out there have been 20 public advisory committee meetings, three public meetings and one public hearing on the project over the years.” Let’s talk about how that went: at what would become the last PAC meeting held on April 15, 2009, 2B-2 met only 20% (that’s 1 in 5) of the study purpose and needs AND the one and only Public Hearing held after 2B-2 became the preferred alternative was conveniently (for the state and federal officials on the panel) a “listening only” event. Mr. Nass is either ill-informed or he has joined MaineDOT’s Dissimulation Tour. I attached a similar comment to the April 10th on-line Bangor Daily News article.

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OPED page 1

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4.12.2016: The MaineDOT likes fancy acronyms such as LEDPA (least environmental damaging preferred alternative). MaineDOT’s LEDPA (2B-2) is extremely damaging to the environment as can be seen from facts taken from the FEIS (Final Environmental Impact Statement). The MaineDOT just doesn’t care about people OR the environment.

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4.09.2016 damage to the environment

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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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4.09.2016: The MaineDOT and the FHWA would like you to forget what they’ve said about their 2B-2/preferred alternative in the past. The quoted statements below are the words of MaineDOT and FHWA transportation professionals. Don’t let these people change the history of the first near-decade of this study. AND – don’t wait until you hear the bulldozers before you state your opposition – use your voice now!!

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4.07.2016 LIAR

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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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3.29.2016: 2B-2 will be commissioned with 148 access points and the MaineDOT says I’m wrong!! I’m posting this page again – note that the access points on 2B-2’s segment of Route 9 exceeds the table – shouldn’t that set a red flag? Remember, this was supposed to be a limited-access connection to Clifton – with no added access points! What seems safer to you? Table 12. clearly demonstrates that as the number of vehicles per day increases – as the number of driveways increase – the numbers of accidents per year increases. It’s as simple as that and Table 12. has nothing to do with “a hardlook at Route 9”!! For an agency that should foster safety as its #1 priority, they seem to not have that view when it comes to 2B-2…

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3.28.2016 Access Points..

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3.28.2016: Part of my statement to BACTS – the MaineDOT doesn’t want you to think this still applies BUT until they can explain to me how a hard look at Route 9 cancels their own words of October 2003 – I will still use them. I stand by these as 100% accurate.

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Click here to view Oct2003 MaineDOT/FHWA Technical Memorandum see page 5.

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3.27.2016: The MaineDOT said after my BACTS Statement that everything you’ve just heard is false. Well even the FHWA co-manager of this study knew the the preferred alternative [2B-2] did not meet purpose and needs. When he raised his objections to the MaineDOT he was taken to the woodshed – his superiors overruled his decision and here we are today listening to the MaineDOT say 2B-2 meets purpose and needs – makes me want to scream!!!

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3.27.2016 b Capture

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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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3.26.2016: What happened to the promise made by the first MaineDOT project manager?

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3.25.2016: The MaineDOT wants you to believe that 2B-2 now meets purpose and needs when it only met 20% of purpose and needs in Apr2009. In October 2003,  MaineDOT and FHWA Transportation Professionals stated the following when discussing the removal of 2B from further consideration. These are the same issues that plague 2B-2 today and the MaineDOT will not even discuss them…

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3.25.2016 a Capture

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3.26.2016: This memorandum was handed out at the BACTS meeting. What does this mean? Back in September 2010 – the now infamous “hard look at Route 9” was based on a 20-year design to year 2030. If you’ve followed this project over the past few years – you will note that every time that time doesn’t work in their favor – the MaineDOT just changes the time. Changed to 2035 in 2012; 2040 in 2015 and now it’s been shoved out to the year 2045. That redefines the definition of near-term to the year 2045.  Why did they have to do that? Easy the connector will not be constructed until between 2022 and 2025 – they need 20 years to make their near-term definition work – thus 2045 makes the numbers work for them. Interesting that they can change the criteria anytime they feel like it and from what we witnessed today – they can do anything they want – unchecked and unaccountable. Really an ugly affair…

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3.25.2016 design year change

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3.25.2016 graph design year change

 

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3.25.2016: The BACTS meeting has come and gone. Boy – was that ugly!! MaineDOT and FHWA officials basically held the BACTS members hostage – either pass the TIP with the I-395 connector OR lose all the projects in the TIP. Linda Johns (Brewer) voted against, Frank Higgins (Brewer) abstained and all others capitulated. The state and the feds would not budge even when it was suggested that the connector project be taken out of the TIP and amended back in it after further discussions could be made. I am really proud of Councilman Jerry Goss and City Manager Steve Bost who gave impassioned speeches in support of our efforts. In the end, all was for naught as the TIP was signed. Larry

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3.24.2016 BACTS cover sheet

Click here to view document.

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3.12.2016: “Hamilton” is one of the hottest shows on Broadway; about 70 pages into the book, I ran across one of his statements and felt an eerie closeness to how he felt.

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3.21.2016: How dangerous are left-hand turns? 2B-2 will have 158 of them!!

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3.20.2016: The cost to construct 2B-2 ($61 million) is based on near-term needs only. How will 2B-2’s long-term needs be funded? AND Shouldn’t 2B-2’s long-term costs be included – upfront – with 2B-2’s initial near-term cost? 2B-2 may become the most expensive of all the other 79 alternatives and not the cheapest alternative to build – once ALL the costs are added up.

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2.14.2016 b Capture

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3.20.2016: What’s the plan to satisfy 2B-2’s “east of Route 46” system linkage need and the need for a limited-access facility – deferred in Sept2003 for 20 years?

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2.13.2016 b Capture

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3.18.2016: Another newsletter-style document. Enjoy!!

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3.16.2016 a Capture

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3.17.2016: A “harder look” at this DEIS controversial statement.

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3.17.2016: $61 million does not and cannot guarantee the outcome of this project.

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3.15.2016: The latest update on this project as of today…

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3.14.2016: $2.8+ million dollars has been squandered over 15+ years to select a deficient alternative (2B-2) that was removed from further consideration in Jan 2003. We can’t afford to maintain our existing roads and bridges, yet the MaineDOT wants to squander away another $61 million on an alternative based only on near-term needs. AND, when the long-term needs come due in 20 years, your grandchildren will have to pay the bill…

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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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3.09.2016 a Capture

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3.08.2016: This study has three specific needs: System Linkage Need, Safety Concerns Need and Traffic Congestion Need. The system linkage need was defined as a limited-access connection on Route 9 to the east if Route 46. Note that 45 of the 79 studied alternatives met this system linkage need and 2B-2 does not. In Sept2010, the MaineDOT avowed the system linkage need as a valid need for this study before promptly deferring that valid need for 20 years, identified as a long-term need; alternatives previously only partially meeting the system linkage need were magically changed to meet the system linkage need in the near-term or for the 20 year design of the connector. The design year in 2010 was 2030, changed to 2035 in Jan2012 for the DEIS and carried forward as 2035 for the FEIS. I advised FHWA Headquarters that the 2035 FEIS-design year would not satisfy purpose and needs for the whole 20 year design life of the connector. MaineDOT then took another “hard look” and changed the design year to 2040. Apparently the Final EIS is not as FINAL as one would expect for the $2.8 million that it cost. MaineDOT’s “hard look” was based solely on traffic capacity of Route 9. As much as the MaineDOT would like you to believe – their “hard look” does nothing to fix the many serious safety issues that the 4.2 mile section of Route 9 brings to alternative 2B-2 as stated below. The MaineDOT has conveniently never discussed these issues – they have been tucked away in the back of the book without comment. I contend these concerns from October 2003 are just as pertinent today and no matter how many “hard looks” you take, 2B-2 does not meet the safety concerns needs and does not meet the traffic congestion needs. This same 4.2 mile segment of Route 9 has had at least 3 fatalities since 2012 that are not even part of MaineDOT’s study data!! These issues have been addressed extensively on this website. MaineDOT has yet to address how they plan to satisfy 2B-2’s long-term needs 20 years from now (1.01.2039) and how they plan to fund those long-term needs. It is highly probable that when you add 2B-2’s long-term costs (currently unknown) to the FEIS-stated $61 million cost of 2B-2 in the near-term, alternative 2B-2 could become the most expensive of all 79 studied alternatives -OR- will local access be removed from 2B-2’s 4.2 mile segment of Route 9 to provide the limited-access connection to the east of Route 46?? The latter would essentially cut the Town of Eddington in two…

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2.13.2016 c Capture

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3.04.2016: Seems a stretch that an alternative (2B-2) not meeting the study’s valid system linkage need, an alternative (2B-2) meeting only 20% of purpose and needs in April 2009 is the only alternative out of 79 studied alternatives (45 of which met the system linkage need) that the ACOE would consider permitting. What about 2B-2’s long-term system linkage needs and the need for a limited-access facility that will come due in 20 years per MaineDOT’s own 9.21. 2010 statement? OR- could it be that no further permitting will be required as the MaineDOT plans to turn that 4.2 miles of Route 9 – an integral section of 2B-2 – to limited access, thus removing local access and essentially cutting Eddington in two? OR- could it be that there are no plans to satisfy 2B-2’s valid long-term needs and this study is just a scam, based solely on near-term needs and not addressing the purpose and needs of this study? Why hasn’t the MaineDOT addressed how they plan to satisfy 2B-2’s long-term needs and what affect it will have on the environment – including for once – the human habitat. Private citizens impacted by alternative 2B-2 deserve to be told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth – not continued silence and dissimulation – what does the MaineDOT plan to do with 2B-2’s 4.2 mile section of Route 9 (aka Main Road, Eddington) in the future?

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2.26.2016: Future newsletter page. Was it best practice to select an alternative (2B-2) that does not meet the study’s system linkage need of a “limited access connection between I-395 and Route 9 east of Route 46” when 45 of the 79 studied alternatives satisfied that need?

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2.24.2016: Followup email to the Federal Legislative Delegation and url for the NOAA website listing Atlantic salmon in the Gulf of Maine as 1 of 8 species “among the most at risk of extinction in the near future.”

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2.24.2016: Email to the Federal Legislative Delegation.

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2.19.2016: Bangor Daily News article. NOAA-National Marine Fisheries Services – one of the many cooperating agencies to this study – shares jurisdiction of Atlantic salmon with the USFWS. You won’t find any comments to the DEIS from NOAA, they opted to let the USFWS work the issue. According to this article, NOAA will be spending $5 million per year over the next five years on projects to stop the decline of Atlantic salmon, while seeking applications for $9 million in community-based habitat restoration. How does NOAA reconcile spending millions to “stop the decline of the species…at risk of extinction in the near future” at the same time that this study has selected an alternative that will cross 2 streams with Atlantic salmon and critical habitat with 12,000+ vehicles per day by 2040? The previous preferred alternative did not impact anadromous fish. Why did frogs and salamanders living in vernal pools – temporary non-spring-fed pools that may not even exist from one year to the next – seem to have more criticality in this study than Atlantic salmon? Frogs and salamanders aided the removal of the 3EIK-2/preferred alternative and the replacement of same with 2B-2, an alternative that only met 20% of purpose and needs in April 2009. Atlantic salmon – let’s drive 12,000 vehicles over their habitat every single day – shouldn’t be an issue!! Once again, best practices seem to have been thrown out the window…

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2.18.2016: Our friends in Augusta would like you to believe that this study started on Sept 21, 2010 and forget everything that MaineDOT/FHWA transportation professionals said over the previous near-decade of the study. That of course is not the case as can be seen in this one paragraph from an Oct2003 Technical Memorandum. I contend these statements are as applicable today in 2016 as they were in 2003 when 2B was removed from further consideration for the second time. Some of the major players responsible for these statements are the same transportation professionals that now ignore their own words and professional opinion. Hmmm…

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2.16.2016: What do you think will happen to Main Road in Eddington if 2B-2 is approved?

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2.12.2016: We should all be concerned with $68 million shortfalls whether in the state or federal budget. It’s OUR money!!

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2.11.2016 b Capture

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2.11.2016 – The latest update from the MaineDOT:

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2.06.2016: Best practice enters into everything we do in our lives. It appears that best practice was sidestepped sometime between the last PAC meeting in April 2009 and the September 2010 “hard look at Route 9”. How can the selection of an alternative (2B-2) that doesn’t meet purpose and needs be a product of best practice especially when MaineDOT’s own words in October 2003 clearly stated: “Traffic congestion and conflicting vehicle movements on this section of Route 9 would substantially increase the potential for new safety concerns and hazards.”? One could easily reach the conclusion that 2B-2 was not the outcome of best practice in transportation engineering…

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1.31.2016: Latest newsletter-style document. I have posted snapshots of selected pages throughout the month and will continue to do so. Page numbers on previous snapshots may be different as I re-paged the final version. Unlike the snapshots, the final version includes working hyperlinks if you feel the desire to check references.

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1.30.2016: Another snapshot of a future newsletter page – why weren’t all aspects of safety analyzed in this study? Why have the MaineDOT and the FHWA ignored and/or suppressed their previous statements of concern with safety and hazards on that same identical segment of Route 9? What about the cost in human lives nationwide due to poor road conditions? How much does it cost the average Mainer in car repairs due to existing poor road conditions. Wouldn’t 2B-2’s $61 million be better spent on the unmet transportation needs of our state?

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1.30.2016: Another snapshot from a future newsletter – a reminder of what the MaineDOT stated in Oct2003 reference the same 4.2 mile section of Route 9, an integral segment of 2B-2, when addressing why they removed 2B from consideration in Jan2003. MaineDOT’s concern: “Traffic congestion and conflicting vehicle movements on this section of Route 9 would substantially increase the potential for new safety concerns and hazards.” Those concerns are as pertinent today in 2016 with 2B-2 as was the case in 2003 with 2B; safety cannot be dismissed by a “hard look”. In MaineDOT’s own words:

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1.29.2016: Another snapshot of a future newsletter comparing the Jan2015 MaineDOT 2015-2016-2017 Work Plan and the Jan2016 MaineDOT 2016-2017-2018 Work Plan. No comments necessary…

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1.29.2016: Another snapshot of 2 pages from a future newsletter reference MaineDOT’s 2014 Report titled ” Keeping Our Bridges Safe”.

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Note: MaineDOT’s 2016-2017-2018 Work Plan funds bridges at approximately $107 million each year of the new 3 year plan – an annual $33 million ($99 million over the life of the plan) in unmet bridge needs still exists. This increase in bridge funding is dependent on the passage of $100 million G.O. bonds in 2017 and 2018 and $25 million GARVEE bonds in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

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Click here to view MaineDOT KOBS report.

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1.28.2016: Another snapshot of a future newsletter page. Have you ever wondered what 2B-2’s $61 million would buy? So did the ACOE – their DEIS statement was of course not substantive, but is as pertinent today as it was in July 2012 – wouldn’t that $61 million “be better spent on other unmet needs in the state?” Using estimates from the MaineDOT Work Plan, these are representative of just some of the unmet transportation needs that could be funded if the MaineDOT wasn’t so intent on squandering that $61 million on a deficient alternative named 2B-2. It’s no accident that I used bridge repair projects and pavement preservation in this demo as the new 3-year Work Plan contains $99 million (91 bridges @$1.09 million each) in unmet bridge repair needs and $105 million (327 miles @$321,000/mile) in unmet pavement preservation needs for a total $204 million shortfall over the next 3 years in the Core Highway and Bridge Programs.

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Click here to view MaineDOT 2016-2017-2018 Work Plan.

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1.27.2016: Another snapshot of a future newsletter page. No comments necessary…

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1.26.2016: Wouldn’t the $61 million needed to construct 2B-2 be better spent on the unmet transportation needs of our state?

 

Maine has a total of 2,419 bridges – 15% are structurally deficient (364 bridges) and 18% are functionally obsolete (432 bridges).

 

Penobscot County has a total of 284 bridges – 13% are structurally deficient (37 bridges) and 14% are functionally obsolete (39 bridges).

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Click here to view TRIP Report on Maine’s bridges.

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1.25.2016: Another snapshot – just a reminder of where we were a few years ago: a petition of non-support from Eddington residents.

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1/24/2016: For those that may be new to this website and want to see bureaucracy at its finest, click this link to read Gretchen Heldmann’s March 2013 FOAA briefing document.

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Gretchen has also been on WZON’s The Pulse Morning Show three times; each about 15-20 minutes long. If you listen – you’ll get the 101 on what’s been going on and what the issues are regarding MaineDOT’s actions and their selection of alternative 2B-2.

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Click here for Gretchen’s 9.19.2013 interview.

(Starts at 01:01:15)

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Click here for Gretchen’s 2.18.2015 interview.

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Click here for Gretchen’s 8.26.2015 interview.

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1.23.2016: Another snapshot. What many don’t understand is that the Environmental Impact Statement does not stop and will not stop the government from doing whatever they want to do – it is simply a document that details the impacts to the environment by the project as it goes forward. Our transportation professionals say 2B-2 is the cheapest to build and the least impact to the environment. As you can see, the impact to the environment is actually quite large and also includes endangered species such as Atlantic salmon and possibly the northern long-eared bat. As far as being the cheapest to build, that’s because 2B-2 does not meet the study original system linkage need of a “limited-access connection between I-395 and Route 9 east of Route 46”. That system linkage need did not go away – it was deferred to beyond 12.31.2039 – so in 20 years – the long-term system linkage “east of Route 46” system linkage need will come due and a second project will be needed to meet that need to correct what should have been done at the project’s onset. So essentially, 2B-2 may become the most expensive of the 79+ studied alternatives seeing how it will have to be constructed twice!! And all they had to do was select an alternative that actually met the purpose and needs from the onset. They made the rules before they broke the rules!!

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1.22.2016: A snapshot of a future newsletter page. Another question that I posed to the DEIS and the MaineDOT deemed as not substantive. How will your community make up for 2B-2’s reduction in revenue?

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Click here to view Bangor Daily News article.

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1.21.2016: Snapshot of another page – MaineDOT has never addressed this statement in their October 2003 Technical Memorandum reference any alternative with a Route 9 connection point west of Route 46, those questions were long buried as not substantive. These derogatory statements need to be addressed – they forewarn 2B-2’s future – they cannot  be answered with a flippant “hard look at Route 9” remark…

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Click here to view Boondoggles 2 document.

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1.21.2016: Snapshot of another page – Highway Boondoggles 2 written by the same group as the September 2014 document below.

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Click here to view document.

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1.21.2016: Another report that reinforces what many have been saying for years: 2B-2 is a waste of our scarce transportation dollars at a time when our state is “struggling to meet basic infrastructure maintenance needs” and 2B-2 offers “questionable value” and “no longer makes sense”. This study started 16 years ago – in 2000, and since 2B-2’s selection was basically decided by Sept2010, there has been “no newer evaluation of whether” this project “is justified”.

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Click here to view full, original report.

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1.20.2016: A rewrite of a page first presented on the 18th. Note that the hyperlinks within these snipped pages, presented over the past few weeks, are non-functional. The newsletter will be fully functional when uploaded to this website.

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1.20.2016: Another snapshot from a future newsletter. Were the books cooked? Found two interesting reports that suggest that they may have been. FOAA documents have surfaced that suggest the cost of 2B-2 was more of a guesstimate than based on fact and conveniently just low enough to meet the benefit to cost ratio (the ratio is actually 1.007 – but rounded up to 1.1). The FEIS-stated cost was based on a rolling design at the same time that the FEIS-stated design was stated as freeway design criteria. Obviously it looked better and made a better sales tool to have their preferred alternative cost $61 million instead of the actual cost of $93.24 million that the freeway design would cost. Why is the cost so important? If they used the real cost of $93.24 million – the Benefit to Cost ratio would be less than 1.0 making the project unacceptable. Traffic forecasting: Route 9’s projected traffic capacity is their “justification” for the “hard look at Route 9”. If numbers can be intentionally over-estimated, I contend they can also be intentionally under-estimated and that was necessary to make this whole hard look thing work. As I have documented, we are now on version 3.0 of the “hard look at Route 9”. Remember, future traffic count is a computerized projection – not fact – and subject to intervention. Were the books cooked? As Mr. Cortright stated: “the forecasting process is opaque to outsiders”. How convenient – you be the judge!!

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Click here to read Mr. Krol’s report.

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Click here to read Mr. Cortright’s report.

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1.20.2016: Email sent out this morning:

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1.18.2016: Another snapshot of a page from a future newsletter. As much as our friends in Augusta would like you to not question their September 2010 “hard look at Route 9”, that piece of Route 9 is an integral piece of the overall 2B-2 alternative. The conundrum that the MaineDOT/FHWA faces is that specific 4.2 mile section of Route 9 brings some serious baggage with it – specifically: “ten local roads and 148 existing drive or access points”. I have talked about this before with other MaineDOT and FHWA documentation; here is another FHWA document that “presents the sensitivity of safety to driveway density for roadway segments”. 148 access points exist on that piece of Route 9 for an average of 35 driveways/mile, not including the 10 local roads. Note: Table 12’s extreme right-hand column is 30 driveway’s per mile – so right at the start, 2B-2 is off the chart. FHWA HDQ’S advised on Mar2015 that the last traffic count on Route 9, east of Route 46, occurred in 2012 and was  5,760 vehicles per day. Route 9’s 2040 traffic is projected @11,560 vehicles per day east of Route 46. Interpolating Table 12 data, it appears that 35 driveways may  be equal to 2.17 accidents per mile per year @ an ADT of 5,000 veh/day. Per Table 12: 4.2 miles of Route 9 (X) 2.17 accidents/per mile per year equals 9 accidents per year on just that 4.2 mile section of the new 10.3 mile 2B-2 connector using the 2012 traffic count. Interpolating Table 12, it appears that 35 driveways may be equal to 3.45 accidents per mile per year @ an ADT of 10,000 veh/day which is equal to 14 accidents per year by the year 2040 -again- on just that 4.2 mile section of the connector. Seems to me that safety was defined in this study as the “elimination of crashes”, so – tell me once again that 2B-2 is all about safety!!  ROUTE 9 CANNOT BE SEPARATED FROM 2B-2. Once again, the words of transportation professionals are ignored by a “hard look at Route 9”!! Is this how the MaineDOT and the FHWA wants to commission a brand new $61 million highway?

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Click here to view referenced FHWA document.

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1.16.2016: WFVX Bangor report on MaineDOT Work Plan.

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1.16.16 k CaptureClick here to view report.

 

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1.16.2016: WLBZ2 report on the new MaineDOT Work Plan.

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1.16.16 c CaptureClick here to view report.

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1.16.2016: MaineDOT unveils 2016-2017-2018 Work Plan on WABI TV5.

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Click here to view report.

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1.15.2016: I’ve looked a little closer at this plan since I first posted about it on January 9th. I applaud the efforts of the MaineDOT to get a handle of the condition of our roads and bridges, BUT how do they plan to pay for it? Last year’s $85 million bond is included; in the fine print you will also find that they plan on approval of yet to be announced $100 million bonds in 2017 and 2018. (Updated 1.17.2016)

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Click here to view MaineDOT 2016-2017-2018 Work Plan.

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Click here to view Portland Press Herald article.

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1.15.2016: Another page from a future newsletter asks what would 2B-2’s $61 million buy? Wouldn’t that $61 million be better spent on the existing, unmet transportation needs of our state? (Updated 1.17.2016)

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Click here to view MaineDOT 2016-2017-2018 Work Plan.

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1.15.2016: Northern long-eared bat ruling executive summary.

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Click here to view the complete USFWS ruling in the Federal Register.

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1.14.2016: Click here to view edict on the northern long-eared bat from the US Fish and Wildlife Service issued today in the Federal Register.

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1.13.2016: Another page from a future newsletter. The most damning statement against the MaineDOT selection of 2B-2 within the entire DEIS is not in the FEIS. The words of our state and federal transportation professionals have been intentionally removed; was this negative statement not considered substantive enough for transfer – OR – like the many times before, is it that the MaineDOT doesn’t want to answer to those anti-2B-2 remarks, just like they don’t want to fess up to previously identified safety concerns: “substantially increase the potential for new safety concerns and hazards” that removed alternative 2B from further consideration in Jan2003 – OR – make believe that they never said that an alternative connecting to Route 9 to the west of Route 46 would “negatively affect people living along Route 9 in the study area” and “seriously impact local communities along Route 9 between proposed alternative connection points and Route 46”? Who will finally hold these people accountable? How many times will our friends in Augusta be permitted to hide statements that speak in opposition to 2B-2? 2B-2 is not the answer, it’s nothing more than a band-aid that will cost $tens of millions in the future when the long-term needs come due on 12.31.2039. 2B-2’s long-term needs are another subject that no one seems to want to talk about. Any of the 79+ studied alternatives satisfying the system linkage need of a “limited-access connection from I-395 to Route 9 east of Route 46” DID NOT HAVE LONG-TERM NEEDS!!! To those that think 2B-2 is the cheapest to construct – guess again – ’cause 2B-2 needs to be built twice – if only the MaineDOT and the FHWA had listened to their own words…

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1.12.2016: Another page from a future newsletter. All remarks within quotation marks are from state and federal transportation professionals. Most of these comments have been submitted in one form or another in my questions to the DEIS and none were considered substantive for comments. Our friends at Augusta have never answered to any of these remarks!! Don’t you think it’s about time that they do??

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1.09.2016: MaineDOT’s new Work Plan is now available on the MaineDOT website.

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Click here to view MaineDOT 2016-2017-2018 Work Plan.

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1.08.2016: Another page from a future newsletter. Updated this page on 1.9.2016 to reflect the MaineDOT Work Plan issued on 1.04.2016.

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Click here to view entire Bangor Daily News article.

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1.05.2016: This speaks for itself, another page from a future newsletter. Updated this page on 1.9.2016 to reflect the MaineDOT Work Plan issued on 1.04.2016.

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1.02.2016: We are constantly told that this study has not changed when we know for a fact that criteria was changed to make 2B-2 fit the study. Below you will see what the project was pre-2010 and post-2010. Don’t let anyone get away with saying that 2B-2 was analyzed with the same criteria as all the other 79+ studied alternatives. That is factual a lie!!

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1.02.2016:  $2.8 million has been squandered away on this study, now in the 16th year, to select a twice removed deficient alternative (2B-2), that met only 20% of purpose and needs in April 2009, at an estimated cost of $61 million to construct!! Don’t you think that money could have been better spent on the unmet transportation needs of the state of Maine? MaineDOT’s 2015-2016-2017 Work Plan includes annual unmet bridge needs of $70 million with an overall annual $119 million budget shortfall in the bridge and roads program. All that being said, they still want to spend another $61 million on 2B-2!!

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1.01.2016:   A direct quote from the April 15, 2009 PAC meeting. If they took such a “hard look at Route 9”, why didn’t they see how absurd it was to ignore this area!! ANY of the 79+ studied alternatives satisfying the “east of Route 46” system linkage need, bypassed the Village of East Eddington. If it was so important to bypass Route 46, why wasn’t it just as important to bypass the Village of East Eddington and the intersection of Routes 9 /46 with conflicting vehicle movements and a posted speed of 35 mph? AND – if they are so concerned with truck traffic on Route 46, why on earth would they have these same big trucks transit through the village @ 35 mph on their way west another 4 miles and 4 more changes in speed limits? Is this the best they can do? What’s that smell?

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12.26.2015 g CaptureClick here to view the April 15, 2009 PAC meeting summary.

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1.01.2016:   A glimpse at a page from a future newsletter. What aren’t more people outraged? This connector was supposed to bypass Route 46 AND the Village of East Eddington!!

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1.01.2016:  A page from a future newsletter with two important questions:

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