2019 News

12.7.2015 b Capture

1.13.2017

11.08.2019 – A report on the blue-ribbon commission from MBTA:

 

11.06.2019 – as predicted:

 

11.05.2019 – It would be an easy bet to say that the Infrastructure Bond will easily pass today – the Portland Press Herald opines why that may not be the best action for Maine:

 

10.25.2019 – The latest MaineDOT shortfall as presented to the blue-ribbon commission on October 24th:

 

10.15.2019 – A News Center Maine report from September – a good reminder of what the blue-ribbon committee has been tasked to do and transportation funding issues in Maine; bonding is not the answer according to Senator Diamond…

 

10.13.2019 – Bonds are not free – think about that before you vote:

 

10.10.2019 – States are spending the federal funds provided to FIX crumbling roads and bridges on new projects; this advocacy group wants that to stop by decreasing federal funding and changing policies:

 

10.07.2019 – An interesting LTE from the Portland Press Herald.

 

10.07.2019 – Follow the blue-ribbon commission on their website:

 

10.02.2019 – At the same time that the DOT is squirreling away $79.25 million for the connector project, Maine’s roads and bridges are some of the worst in the nation:

10.01.2019 – DOT’s briefing document to the first meeting of the blue-ribbon commission. Note that there is absolutely no mention of the I-395/Route 9 Connector OR the $79.25 million that they have been squirreling away instead of addressing Maine’s existing unmet transportation needs:

 

10.01.2019 – A compilation of what happened in the third quarter of 2019:

 

10.01.2019 – This is what happens when you have unmet transportation needs (aka deferred maintenance) as briefed to the blue-ribbon commission by the DOT. Deferred maintenance costs are significantly higher than regular, timely repairs:

10.01.2019 – Unmet transportation needs in the Highway/Bridge Program as briefed to the blue-ribbon commission. -$108 million per year OR -23% SHORTFALL!!

10.01.2019 – Another damning and embarrassing infrastructure rating: 4th WORST!!

 

9.25.2019 – An interesting report from Transportation for America (T4America). Repair work on [existing] roads and bridges generates 16 percent more jobs than construction of new bridges and roads.” T4America

When you hear MaineDOT’s talking point that the I-395/Route 9 connector will bring much needed construction jobs—that is a misleading statement—fixing the roads and bridges we already have will generate 16% more jobs than the connector!! That is where the priority should be, and not a project that many of us see no reason for…

 

9.22.2019 – If you had hoped that this new commission would “somehow” change the MaineDOT’s work habits, here is proof that it doesn’t and it won’t. At a time when the DOT and legislators are crying that the sky is falling, a bid has gone out to demolish two more homes in the footprint of alternative 2B-2. What’s the rush? Wouldn’t that money be better spent on the unmet needs of our state?

9.19.2019 – Two reports on the new commission:


 

9.17.2019 – The new commission to meet today:

 

9.12.2019 – Number 9th worst in the nation – why is the DOT promoting a questionable new $79.25 million connector when our existing roads (and bridges) are in poor shape?

9.12.2019 – A recent Bangor Daily Editorial – more of the same on how to fund our state’s road and bridge maintenance program – whilst – the DOT has squirreled away $79.25 million on the controversial I-395/Route 9 connector that many of us see no need for…

 

9.12.2019 – A report from News Center Maine:

 

 

9.11.2019 – A resolve to study transportation funding in Maine:

Whereas,  funding for transportation infrastructure in the State and the nation is seriously lacking; and

Whereas,  the shortfall in funding related to the State’s state highway and bridge system is at least $160 million per year, without consideration of general obligation bonding; and

 

9.01.2019 – Bangor Daily News – “Even with the bond…the shortfall is at an estimated $140 million for roads and bridges.”

 

9.01.2019 – Recent Press Portland Herald editorial – “…the money, earmarked for transportation projects, is insufficient to keep up with road and bridge repair..” Everyone knows that bonding is not the answer – but – we do it anyway:

 

8.28.2019 – How many potholes can be filled with this $5 million? How does this shortfall affect other unmet transportation needs of our state?

 

8.27.2019 – Portland Press Herald front page top of the fold – no surprises here:

8.21.2019 – Bangor Daily News and the Portland Press Herald report on the for sure passage of the transportation bond in next Monday’s session in Augusta:

 


 

 

8.15.2019 – WABI reports on the ongoing bond issue:

 

8.15.2019 – The BDN reports on the current bond issue:

 

8.14.2019 – Electronic version of Portland Herald article dated 8.14.2019:

8.14.2019 posting – Bonding is not the answer and Mr. VanNote knows it!

 

 

7.30.2019 posting – Maybe if the MaineDOT stopped pursuing such highly controversial and extremely expensive projects, as the I-395/Rt. 9 Connector, our state would not have to bond every year just to repair the roads and bridges that we already have.

 

7.30.2019 posting – An article from CNBC. Shouldn’t we all be disgusted at yet another terrible rating? Mainers should be ashamed to be rated as the fourth worst state in the nation for the condition of their infrastructure.

 

7.09.2019 – Bangor Daily News Editorial with facts on the state of our infrastructure:

 

7.07.2019 – All we wanted was a $25,000 independent review (not a new study) of the connector project and that was not to happen as the Governor would not support it – yet, here’s a $500,000 study that the Governor supports…

 

7.03.2019 – A compilation of what happened in the second quarter of 2019:

 

6.23.2019 posting – “…meaning the lack of a new transportation bond would not cause any immediate problems. Legislators, however, say they hope a bond can be approved and sent to voters in November to avoid any interruption to the DOT funding stream.” This one single bond will cost Mainers $29 million in interest payments over the ten year maturity of the bond; we should not depend on bonding as an integral part of the “funding stream”.

 

6.21.2019 posting – The Maine Legislature adjourned without getting the now annual $100 million transportation bond on the 2019 ballot; the MaineDOT needs this bond to help them maintain our existing roads and bridges so that they can horde $79.25 million of critical state and federal transportation dollars in support of the connector. 2B-2 seems to be more important to the DOT than our state’s current unmet transportation needs…

 

6.12.2019 posting – Oped about transportation bonding from the Portland Press Herald:

 

6.08.2019 – Interesting facts gleaned from Mr. Van Note’s testimony in March 2019:

 

6.08.2019 – A repost that demonstrates how much the bridge rating system has changed:

 

6.08.2019 posting – not many people realize that the FHWA has drastically changed the definition of what is now structurally deficient within the bridge rating system – if you don’t pay attention, one would think things are getting better when that is not the case:

 

6.08.2019 posting:

 

6.07.2019 – Senator Angus King signs on a bill to address Maine’s 325 deficient bridges:

 

6.06.2019 – Another Transportation Bond to be voted on this November. Bonds are not free – last year’s bond will cost $29 million in interest payments over the 10 year maturity.

 

5.31.2019 – A contest for the worst road in Maine with interesting facts about the state of our roads and the cost of those roads to the citizens of Maine:

 

5.31.2019 – What you need to know about the Wilson Street Bridge over I-395:

 

5.27.2019 – The May 2019 TRIP report provides the most current statistics of Maine’s roads and bridges. We should not be proud that we are in the top ten of the worst roads and bridges in the nation.

 

5.22.2019 – New article from “Transportation for America”;  a direct – strong – argument against the MaineDOT pushing for the controversial $79.25 million (2B-2) I-395/Route 9 connector project when our state cannot afford to even maintain existing infrastructure:

 

5.20.2019 – Bangor Daily News Editorial from May 14th:

 

5.15.2019 – even at this late date, the MaineDOT is using an official Maine map that shows the I-395 Protected Wetlands from the original 395 project that 2B-2 transits thru. The MaineDOT told us in 2012 that they could not validate these protected wetlands existed, even though they are mapped as such, thus they didn’t exist. Now 7 years later, the map is clear – it is their map – on their website!! Do these wetlands exist or not? If this map is invalid – where was the mitigation for the original I-395 project? Hmmm…

 

5.11.2019 – Channel 2 report:

 

5.10.2019 posting – WABI report on cancelled projects:

 

5.10.2019 posting – The official MaineDOT document as referenced in BDN and Portland Herald articles. An interesting statement: “Most projects cut from the Construction Advertisement Schedule will be performed in future years, but that is not guaranteed, especially in the case of highway reconstruction and new alignment projects. Further, MaineDOT must reserve the right to reject bids on the projects being advertised if bids come in too high. All projects will be reviewed as we assemble our next three-year Work Plan to be published in early 2020 in the context of available revenue, system needs, and bidding climate.” 

Since the Wilson Street/Interstate 395  bridge replacement project is the first phase of the connector project; the future of the whole connector could be decided in January 2020…

 

Click here to view document online.

5.09.2019 posting:

 

5.09.2019 posting:

 

5.01.2019 posting: We don’t have enough money? Really? How ’bout that $79.25 million?

 

4.14.2019 posting:

 

4.14.2019 posting – A compilation of activities for the first quarter of 2019:

 

4.09.2019 posting:

 

4.02.2019 posting:

 

3.25.2019 posting:

 

3.25.2019 posting:

 

3.20.2019 posting:

3.18.2019 posting:

 

3.18.2019 posting:

 

3.15.2019 posting:

 

3.15.2019 posting:

 

The following 3 documents were sent to the transition team for Governor-elect Mills:

 

 

 

3.06.2019 posting – Finally, a much-needed project update from the DOT; remember when these used to be biweekly?

 

3.06.2019 posting – MaineDOT proves once again that we don’t have the money to foolishly spend on such a controversial and deficient alternative as 2B-2!!

 

2.26.2019 posting – Ground Zero in Eddington. This house no longer exists!!

2.25.2019 posting – Bangor Daily News:

 

2.20.2018 posting – A resolve from Senator Rosen:

 

2.14.2019 posting – email sent to Governor Mills on 1.30.2019:

 

1.31.2019 – an unsolicited response from the MaineDOT from the email originally sent to the Governor on January 18th ; as usual just talking points with no real answers:

 

1.26.2019 posting – email sent to Governor Mills on 1.18.2019:

 

1.09.2019 – Senator Rosen submitted the following legislation:

1.01.2019 – A compilation of news from the 4th quarter of 2018:

 

1.01.2019 – Portland Press Herald report on new traffic lights:

 

1.01.2019 – Who negotiated what the state would pay for this connector?

1.01.2019 – An important posting from 12.17.2018:

 

1.01.2019 – An important posting from 12.15.2018:

 

1.01.2019 – An important posting from 12.14.2018. Whether it’s state money, federal money or bond money – it is your money!!

 

1.01.2019 – An important posting from 12.10.2018 . Gretchen’s words from 2012 are still true today!!