Jan 30, 2010

Sears Island: Are Legislators paving the way for a port?

UPDATE: A legislator writes that Sears Island did not get  money directed at it at the Friday transportation committee hearing. -RCH

 Money is the mother's milk of politics - even more so after the recent supreme court decision. Sometimes it  flows out of industrialists and other interest groups; other times from the Body Politic. When it comes to Big Transpo, the milk  nourishes builders of ports, rail lines and highways

On Friday January 29, 2010 the Maine Legislature's transportation committee the Maine legislature held a work session on  LD 1639 An Act To Stimulate the Maine Economy and Promote the Development of Maine's Priority Transportation Infrastructure Needs   

The summary reads: "The purpose of this bill is to stimulate the Maine economy by allowing the Department of Transportation to receive and solicit proposals and enter into agreements with private entities for the building, ownership, leasing or financing of certain transportation projects set forth in Maine Public Law 2007 Chapter 470. An Act To Secure Maine's Transportation Future

What are some of those projects set forward in Chapter 470? A laundry list: 
"The department shall consider significant new capacity projects of all modes, which must include at least the following: Aroostook North-South Highway; East-West corridor improvements; Gorham connector; I-295 South Portland to Brunswick capacity improvements; I-295 Brunswick to Gardiner rehabilitation; I-95 Bangor capacity and modernization improvements; Lewiston-Auburn I-95 to downtown connector; Portland to Brunswick passenger rail; the Lewiston-Auburn rail corridor; Sanford connector; Wiscasset bypass; and the department's 3-port strategy including the ports of Eastport, Searsport and Portland."
Stay tuned.

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