East-West highway proposal excoriated by environmental group

3:56 PM, Dec 11, 2012   |    comments
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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - A report by an environmental group calls the proposed east-west highway across Maine one of the worst transportation projects in the United States.

The Sierra Club report released Tuesday, which examines 50 of the country's best and worst transportation projects,  says the privately run, four-lane toll highway cutting through the Maine woods would have negative impacts on air and water quality and critical wildlife habitat. It says a freight rail line parallel to the proposed route could reduce vehicle miles traveled and redirect public investments toward passenger and commuter rail.

The report notes that similar highway proposals have been studied and rejected numerous times in the past.

A financial feasibility study by the Maine Transportation Department awaits proposals showing where the east-west highway's connections to existing highways would be.

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