A national transportation research group has identified 50 projects in Maine needed to enhance economic development, including an east-west highway and a cargo port on Sears Island.
Washington, D.C.-based TRIP released the report this morning at a Portland press conference, highlighting 35 road and bridge projects, five public transportation projects, five port projects and others needed to boost mobility in the state and spur economic growth, the Bangor Daily News reported. Among its top 10 recommended projects are a new highway between I-395 and Route 9 in the Bangor area, for a cost of up to $100 million; rehabilitation of the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge in York County for up to $115 million; and construction of a new east-west route for as much as $1 billion. The Sears Island cargo port, a somewhat controversial proposal the state is already considering, would cost about $250 million.
TRIP is sponsored by construction companies, insurance firms, labor unions and other groups that advocate for efficient transportation systems nationwide. To devise its list, representatives from the nonprofit asked state transportation officials to identify projects they deemed essential and ranked them based on a number of criteria, including job creation, safety improvements and access.