12.10.2018 – Gretchen’s words from 2012 are still true today!!
12.05.2018 – Another document sent to Governor-elect Janet Mills’ transition team:
12.04.2018 posting – speaks for itself, a sad moment…
12.03.2018 – The DOT Commissioner signed a letter on October 23, 2017 to commit $39,625,000 of state matching funds as part of the INFRA grant application for the I-395/Route 9 Connector project. It’s astonishing to me that at a time when we can’t even afford to maintain our existing roads and bridges, when our infrastructure has had a rating of “D” for the last 8 years, when we were just asked to approve yet another yearly $100 million transportation bond, when a $59 million shortfall in long-term goals per state statute exists in the DOT budget, and when our JSC on Transportation refuses to address our infrastructure funding problems – our DOT Commissioner locks up almost $40 million for a near-term project with long-term needs, a project that many in Brewer oppose.
Where did the state find that kind of money? Was it wise to commit those funds when Maine has unmet transportation needs? I’m glad that we’ll soon have a new group of people managing our state’s coffers as the last crew failed miserably…
11.28.2018 postings – I have sent the following documents to Governor-elect Mills’ transition office:
11.04.2018 posting – the Federal Highway Trust Fund runs out of money in 2021!!
10.30.2018 posting – When are we going to hold our government officials to what they have previously said?
10.22.2018 posting – Again I ask, wouldn’t 2B-2’s $79.25 million construction cost be better spent on Maine’s unmet transportation needs?
10.22.2018 posting – Infrastructure policy for Janet Mills:
10.19.2018 – Excerpt of Bangor Daily News article just posted:
10.18.2018 posting – Once again, we are asked to okay another yearly transportation bond that most Mainers will think is great!! Bonds are not free!! At the same time that the DOT is begging for money as if the “sky is falling”, they have compiled almost all of the $79.25 million needed to construct 2B-2. We will never “control” how our government spends our money until you start to say no – before you mark up your ballot, please consider the cost…
10.18.2018 posting – Maybe if the DOT was forced by our duly-elected officials to work on our degraded infrastructure before taking on another controversial new project, the DOT would have the available cash to maintain our current existing infrastructure!! Ms. Hayes does understand that the we need to fix the infrastructure that we already have and I hope that becomes the norm following the election. Wouldn’t the $79.25 million to be spent on 2B-2 be better spent on Maine’s unmet and unfunded transportation needs??
10.02.2018 posting – A compilation of news from the 3rd quarter of 2018:
8.14.2018 – A Bangor Daily News LTE begs to ask the question:
8.08.2018 posting: always kept politics to a minimum on this website, but this is an important upcoming election and since my current representation turned their backs on us from the onset and I own this medium, I plan to make my vote count this year and put someone in place that will actually recognize that Brewer exists.
7.15.2018 – A compilation of news from April thru June of 2018:
7.15.2018 – Redacted email to several politicians – includes many key facts on 2B-2…
7.15.2018 – Like the attached PAC meetings on 7.12.2018, if you really want to understand how this process ended up with the selection of such a deficient alternative as 2B-2, study how the Bangor Daily News reported on it from 1995 until 2012…
7.13.2018 – Not many people know that a promise was made to Senator Collins – what is unknown, is the extent of that promise and if the promise will be broken…
An example of what was presented to the MaineDOT, but obviously not what we will see in the end – if anything at all.
7.12.2018 – The BDN reports on the sale of last year’s transportation bond:
7.12.2018 – To fully understand what went wrong in this process, one only has to look back at what took place in the PAC meetings.
7.12.2018 – This letter could have been written today and not 16 years ago…
7.12.2018 – Another transportation bond to vote on this November, whilst the administration sits on the last one…
7.08.2018 – This may not necessarily be connector-related-at-this-time, however when Bev is elected this fall to the Maine State Senate for District 8, I expect that she will have some serious conversations with the new governor and the MaineDOT about a $79.25 million dollar expenditure for a controversial connector when Maine’s transportation needs continue to go unmet. Please support Bev with your vote in November, I certainly will.
7.07.2018 – Bangor Daily News article:
7.06.2018 – Another opinion piece on the perils of bonding.
7.06.2018 – Recent Bangor Daily News Opinion piece posted on 7.02.2018; bonds are not free – they allow politicians to waste your money on pet projects. Our state, just like each and every one of us, needs to work under the budgetary process.
6.29.2018 – This is one of the slides shown at the Public Meeting on 6.27.2018:
6.29.2018 – Channel 7 report:
6.28.2018 – MaineDOT official maps as of 6.27.2018:
6.28.2018 – A Bangor Daily News article:
6.27.2018 – Channel 5 Reports:
6.26.2018 – Channel 5 Reports:
6.26.2018 – Perhaps there has been no better time to go back and read this 2016 article:
6.26.2018 – Transportation bonds – do we really need them if our Governor won’t sign them off? A $100 million dollar bond costs $29 million over the ten year maturity.
6.26.2018 – No matter how the MaineDOT spins it, alternative 2B-2 does not and never will satisfy the original study purpose and needs, specifically the study’s decade-long system linkage need of a Route 9 connection to the east of Route 46.
And, to pretend that 2B-2 somehow magically completes the East/West Highway thru Maine is absurd; 18 wheelers will still be forced to transit the 35 mph section of Route 9 that includes the Village of East Eddington and the intersection of Routes 9 and 46. How safe is that? That same identical section of Route 9 would have been bypassed by any of the 45 of 79 studied alternatives that actually satisfied the original study system linkage need (northern logical termini) of an east of Route 46 connection. How shortsighted is that?
The section on Public Involvement is an outright lie. Even just a week ago, the MaineDOT Commissioner refused to meet with major stakeholders, to include the City of Brewer, to debate the merits of this project. Private citizens and members of our Public Advisory Committee (PAC) were “played” and largely ignored, made to feel like we all actually had a say in the process, a process than now appears to have been predetermined, no matter what we said. And public meetings? How about the pre-DEIS public meeting in May of 2012? At the start of the meeting, we were shocked to hear that it was a “listening-only” meeting; the panel of transportation professionals sat muted, refusing to answer even one question. The one thing we have learned – over 18 years – is that the MaineDOT does not want your input, especially if it is contrary to the outcome they desire.
Wouldn’t 2B-2’s $79.25 million cost be better spent on Maine’s unmet transportation needs?
The following has just been posted by the MaineDOT. A sales pamphlet for 2B-2:
6.26.2018 – How will the DOT mitigate the high noise level impact they have identified?
6.26.2018 – Seems the DOT has seen fit to drop a bunch of new information on their website just before tomorrow’s meeting.
The cost is now $79.25 million
Start of construction: September 2021
Construction completion: September 2024
6.25.2018 – An update from the DOT:
6.21.2018 – Once again, the DOT refuses to talk about the merits of their selection and address the many questions that have gone unanswered for the last six years:
6.20.2018 – Lest you forget the previous words from the MaineDOT:
6.15.2018 – Finally, some positive news…
6.14.2018 – email to Congressman Poliquin’s Washington Staff:
6.12.2018 – The big question is where is the money coming from and will there be more??
6.06.2018 – You know what they say – bad news drops on Fridays…
And the big question is: where does the state get the rest of the money? For the past 18 years it was known, or at a minimum hoped, that the Feds would kick in $48.8 million (80%) of the $61 million construction cost with the state kicking in the rest @$12.2 million (20%). Apparently that has now all changed, where does the state come up with an extra $23.8 million for a total of $36 million for the state’s share of the construction cost for this controversial project, a project that does not satisfy the original study purpose and needs, when our roads and bridges are in such dire disrepair and their repairs remain unfunded? Wouldn’t that $36 million be better spent on the unmet transportation needs of our state?
6.06.2018 – Show me the money…
5.13.2018 – How will we pay for what TRIP suggests be done to aid “older” drivers?
5.07.2019 – Another great graphic from TRIP:
5.01.2018 – Interesting comments from Eddington’s Town Manager:
4.26.2018 – The lawsuit is over, but the same problems remain…
4.22.2018 – Just another question of many that I asked and never got an answer for:
4.18.2018 – BDN reports on the end of the Wiscasset vs. DOT feud. This was always a no-win for the citizens of Wiscasset; the DOT has unlimited funds from Maine taxpayers and the town has very limited funds from just their own residents. Essentially, you’re fighting yourself with your own money and the state can just wait you out since their bucket of funds is bottomless…
4.17.2018 – Bangor Daily News article dated 4.17.2018:
At the same time that these bridges are reported in such a failed state, the DOT is pushing ahead with the $61 million I-395/Route 9 connector—a project that met only 20% of study purpose and needs in April/May of 2009—a project that lacks the support of the Brewer City Council—a project that has been funded with $8.75 million to complete preliminary engineering and the eminent domain process at this time. It is fiscally irresponsible to allow our existing infrastructure to decay to this point while going forward with a new controversial project that many believe is no longer necessary. It needs to be noted that President Trump’s new infrastructure plan may slash the TIGER grant program.
4.14.2018 – The DOT forces families in Brewer and Eddington out of their homes to establish State Highway “345”:
4.12.2018 – Latest article from the Bangor Daily News reference the Wiscasset “Bypass”.
4.09.2018 – The Democrat’s Infrastructure plan, like Trump’s, does not address the repair of existing problems: “Absent any real reform, we’ll merely be empowering states and metro areas to build new things that they can’t afford to maintain over the long-term.”
4.03.2018 – Portland Press Herald article on the continues Wiscasset squabble with DOT. I have experienced everyone of these shenanigans since we discovered that 2B-2 was the new preferred alternative AND the DOT failed to tell us for some 32 months – sounds like the DOT once again failed to tell the impacted community key criteria that they should have been told. Shame on them…
4.01.2018 – A compilation of news from January thru March of 2018:
3.30.2018 – Received the current established horizontal alignment information from the DOT today. Also learned that the connector will still go under Eastern Avenue as planned. The vertical alignment and completion of engineering plans cannot be accomplished until boring samples are obtained throughout the entire area.
I apologize that this is just a minor portion of the footprint; I would suggest, to those that need the footprint information that impacts their property – request that information direct from firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
3.25.2018 – What were you doing two years ago today? It is well documented what some of us were doing that day as referenced in the Streetsblog USA article and the BDN article below and BACTS testimony under the “Obscured Facts” menu tab.
3.30.2018 – UPDATE – received horizontal centerline information as requested.
3.25.2018 – UPDATE – no answer to date to what we now know was “cut and pasted” to several neighbors over a one week period. In the 18th year, don’t we deserve better?
3.16.2018 – We may finally learn the full impact of this project within 2 weeks:
3.16.2018 – The MaineDOT says all bridges designed by FIGG Bridge Engineers are safe:
3.16.2018 – A common connection between bridges in Maine and the failed pedestrian bridge in Florida.
3.13.2018 – Here we go again, I’ve got a secret…
3.12.2018 – Problems ahead with the Highway Trust Fund…
3.11.2018 – Property owners either abutting or in the footprint of the connector have all received this access consent form; although not an official status update, I believe this to be the first exchange of information or status update since July of 2017.
3.12.2018 – Take the time and read Bev’s bio below; at the end, if you don’t say wow, you just don’t get it!! Bev has the background and qualifications to be a great state senator!!
3.10.2018 – Archie Verow announces his re-election bid for District #128 Representative:
3.10.2018 posting – my response on the second page says it all.
3.10.2018 – the continuation of Wiscasset woes with the MaineDOT:
3.08.2018 posting – FIX IT FIRST!!
3.08.2018 – Why the environment should not be ignored in Trump’s Infrastructure Plan.
3.08.2018 – Senator Collins announces TIGER funds to fix 3 Maine bridges:
3.08.2018 – Two postings about Maine’s most deficient bridge:
3.04.2018 – It dawned on me recently that I haven’t seen a familiar deficient bridge term, Functionally Obsolete, in ages. Well – that term was dropped from reporting from 2016 on, with a new reporting system starting this year. The deficient condition of 470 (19.3%) of Maine’s bridges has not been captured since 12.31.2015; what will Maine’s deficient bridge numbers look like with the new performance measuring report (included below) due out in October of 2018?
3.04.2018 – The Trump Infrastructure Plan, from the LEFT and the RIGHT:
3.04.2018 – The latest FHWA bridge data from the ARTBA and subsequent report on the NBC Nightly News:
3.04.2018 – An interesting, yet controversial idea; charge a damages tax to fix our roads:
3.01.2018 – Following the gist of the preceding posts, repairing roads and bridges is not sexy. Warning – strong language in the following 2015 video by John Oliver (HBO):
2.28.2018 – CNBC reports on Maine’s 48th ranking in infrastructure score…
2.28.2018 – Excerpts of previous article; repairing our infrastructure is not sexy enough…
2.28.2018 – CNN article on our crumbling infrastructure; there is no funding set aside for the actual maintenance and restoration of our roads and bridges – that will be up to our state politicians…
2.28.2018 – Our state infrastructure is in terrible condition and in most cases worst than the national average.
2.25.2018 – An opinion piece from April of 2017 – nothing has changed…
2.25.2018 – Please consider supporting Arthur (Archie) Verow and Bev Uhlenhake to represent you at the state legislature by contributing $5.00 to the MCEA in their name:
2.24.2018 – Curious how our government works; we don’t have enough money to even maintain existing roads and bridge – YET, the MaineDOT sees no problem spending $61 million on a controversial connector project (2B-2) that does not meet original purpose and needs of the study/project – AND, the local community does not support – YET, our Legislators table a year-old effort to raise highway funds. In February 2015, these same legislators saw no problem in spending $61 million because the state “may be required” to reimburse the feds $2.2 million for money spent to date – WHEN, that was not the case with the Wiscasset Bypass project when cancelled in 2011. Would you run your household like that; then why let your government – IT’S YOUR MONEY!!??
2.24.2018 – The Beacon, a local discussion about Trump’s Infrastructure Plan.
2.23.2018 – Hybrid bill voted down in Committee:
2.22.2018 – More woes in Wiscasset!!
2.16.2018 – At the same time that Trump introduced his new infrastructure plan, he also introduced his new budget which cuts the DOT’s budget by 13%; it eliminates the TIGER grant program which Maine has successfully used to fund several infrastructure projects; it eliminates the Essential Air Service program which subsidizes commuter air service at Maine’s smaller airports. And, when it seems Amtrak can’t stay on the tracks, the Trump budget cuts the support for long-distance Amtrak trains.
2.15.2018 -Bangor Daily News Editorial:
2.15.2018 – I would also add that, the MaineDOT is very good at squandering our limited transportation dollars on highly controversial and very questionable projects that local communities see no need for. It would make more sense to terminate such projects, as the I-395/Route 9 connector, and re-appropriate that $61 million to the unmet transportation needs of this state. IMO the DOT lacks the fiscal responsibility to manage their budget as can be seen by their actions…
2.14.2018 – Bangor Daily News article reference “problems” with the Wiscasset Bypass:
2.14.2018 – Portland Press Herald article ref. “problems” with the Wiscasset Bypass:
2.14.2018 – Bangor Daily News Opinion Editorial from Ben Sprague:
2.14.2018 – Maine’s highway fund is underfunded by about $160 million a year…
2.12.2018 – Trump’s Infrastructure Plan and proposed future funding in the BDN:
2.11.2018 – Just a little venting…
2.09.2018 – It’s all the fault of electric cars…
2.09.2018 – Interesting article on the SML bridge. Make your own conclusions…
2.06.2018 – An update on the Wiscasset Bypass project. Wouldn’t it be easier for the state to work with communities instead of steamrolling them?
2.12.2018 – An email to the Brewer City Council and impacted private citizens:
2.01.2018 – Another source speaks of Trump’s 80/20 infrastructure funding, labeling it as “a reversal of precedent”.
1.29.2018 – What if Maine had to pay 80% of this project instead of 20%? There’s a big difference between the current $12.2 million (20%/State funded $61 million cost) and the current $48.8 million (80%/Federal funded $61 million cost) that this new proposal may reverse. Whether the state funds 20% or 80%, how does a project get funded that so many are against and doesn’t satisfy the original purpose and needs of a study, now in its 18th year, when other transportation needs in our state go unmet? $61 million would fix a lot of bridges, roads and potholes…
1.17.2018 – Why don’t we hold our officials to what they have said??.
1.17.2018 – Bonds are not free….
1.10.2018 – The official 2018 MaineDOT Work Plan is now available online. As far as the connector project goes, the entry for 2018 mirrors that for 2017 with the exception that another $1.5 million has been added. No entries for this project for years 2019 and 2020. What seems to be missing are the budget shortfalls that have plagued our infrastructure repair for years. The annual $59 million shortfalls, as reported in January of 2017, may be masked by the presumption that $100 million G.O. bonds to be voted on in 2018 and again in 2019 will be approved by the public. This seems to now be an annual affair…
1.07.2018 – An increase in funding for engineering and eminent domain??.
1.01.2018 – Hope everyone had a great holiday!! Here’s a compilation of what occurred from April to December of 2017 in newsletter form. We should know in days how much money has been added in the DOT Work Plan to augment the $7.5 million from last year’s infusion for preliminary engineering and eminent domain.