Cinabro Turnpike campaign in Maine
By Peter Samuel
Peter Vigue, chairman and CEO of Cianbro the big construction company based in Pittsfield Maine is a one-man private tollroad entrepreneur and public outreach man for the east-west tollroad he has long been proposing. He's currently on a speaking tour of places along the route, addressing meetings of 700 or more - a mix of pros, antis and the simply curious.
His major sales pitch for the new 220 mile, 350km road - we'll call it the Cianbro Turnpike - is that business along it will provide a boost to the economy.
Major revenue is seen as coming from truck traffic generated by the ports of Halifax NS and Saint John NB getting a much straighter shot to Montreal and Toronto than the all-Canadian Highway 1 that deviates way north to get around the Maine 'fist' sticking up into Canada.
But it would also enhance the quality of Maine's connections to both sides of Canada as well as improving east-west movement across the state. The Maine legislature has appropriated $300,000 for a feasibility study on the project which is supported by the state Governor Paul LePage.
Vique has been criticized for not revealing his proposed route for the road, and he says he's not ready to do that in any detail.
But he has recently been providing new details of the Cianbro Turnpike:
- it would go south of Dover-Foxcroft and north of Dexter, and avoid all settlements
- all property acquisition to be negotiated, no eminent domain
- all conservation and protected areas to be avoided
- to use an existing 2,000ft easement in the east of Maine, elsewhere 500ft
- no new utility lines in the right of way
- private financing
- 5 interchanges
The Portland Press Herald has a map it says was drawn with the help of Cianbro.