Maine Senate approves study for east-west highway

March 14, 2012

The Maine State Senate gave approval for a $300,000 feasibility study for a long-debated east-west highway in northern Maine, seen by some as a vital transportation link.

The idea of the east-west highway has been debated in the state for years, but gained new interest recently because the proposal would rely on private, not government, funds for the construction costs, according to a Seacoast Online report. The roughly 230-mile highway would also be operated privately and maintained with tolls.

Supporters claim the project has potential to create hundreds of jobs as the $2 billion privately funded highway takes shape, but opponents worried that the $300,000 cost of a feasibility study could escalate and said that private investors, not taxpayers, should pay for the study.

The bill passed 19-15 but faces further House and Senate votes.

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Deborah Whistler

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