$25M Trans Bond and $6.1M for Wash Cty Bike Path

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Editor
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$25M Trans Bond and $6.1M for Wash Cty Bike Path

[i]Editor's Note: Will someone in the Maine Legislature get real and nip this waste of money in the bud?[/i]

Ellsworth American

Rail/Trail Corridor Proposal Attracts Supporters, Skeptics
Written by Tom Walsh
Thursday, March 16, 2006

ELLSWORTH "”

The state plans to convert 87 miles of the Calais Branch corridor between Ellsworth and Ayers Junction into an all-seasons recreational trail.

MDOT plans to begin trail construction within two years, but won't know until it puts the project out to bid [its] price. A 2003 estimate put the cost at $70,000 a mile [or] $6.1 million.

Dan Stewart, MDOT's bicycle/pedestrian coordinator, said funding for the project remains an open question.

[url=http://ellsworthmaine.com/site/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id... story[/url]

rightwingwoman
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$25M Trans Bond and $6.1M for Wash Cty Bike Path

I swear the bike lobby is more powerful than the teacher's unions...There is such an obsession with bike paths across the country...How much fed money is leveraged from the bike path??

Editor
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$25M Trans Bond and $6.1M for Wash Cty Bike Path

rightwingwoman -

re: how much fed money

None. It's all taxpayers' money. I'm looking for alternate routes to go from Dixmont to Newport to avoid crappy Route 7 north of Plymouth Pond, and our Governor is wasting money on this crap.

skf

Anonymous
$25M Trans Bond and $6.1M for Wash Cty Bike Path

Look at all the bike lanes painted throughout the state~ If the private sector ever put those down everyone would be in jail and bankrupt...

Naran
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Last seen: 3 years 11 months ago
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$25M Trans Bond and $6.1M for Wash Cty Bike Path

Honest to Murgatroyd, the inmates are indeed running the asylum.

Maine's roads and highways are falling apart, but he wants to spend more millions on bike paths? Shades of Cinnamon Buns for tourists.
:roll:

Either that, or it's a conspiracy from Dora Mills - make the roads impassable, and force us all into bikes and pedicabs eventually. Physical Fitness for All, Whether You Like It or Not!

I give up. Idaho is looking better all the time.
*sigh*

Gaffer
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Last seen: 11 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 12/11/1999 - 1:01am
$25M Trans Bond and $6.1M for Wash Cty Bike Path

What is the percentage of Maine taxpayers that will ever ride a bike on this path? What a collosal waste of my hardearned money. If the bikers want it let them raise the money for it.

Tony Bessey
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$25M Trans Bond and $6.1M for Wash Cty Bike Path

I think the truely sad part about this project is that it could be a viable train line and many of the locals would like to see the line working again. A local busnessman in Ellsworth has wanted to restore this line for years and the state is letting it rot so the enviro nazis can have a walking trail.

Tony

Slingblade
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Last seen: 8 years 2 months ago
Joined: 08/19/2004 - 12:01am
$25M Trans Bond and $6.1M for Wash Cty Bike Path

Oh you complainers. Get real. We are going to run out of crude oil so bike paths are a necessity for the future.
Oh, I forgot, asphalt and other products are made from oil.
Forget the bike paths.
Breed horses and grow hay!

Bullseye
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$25M Trans Bond and $6.1M for Wash Cty Bike Path

This is the process used when a secondary road is fully re-constructed:

Full depth excavation of existing roadway material.

Complete new drainage system, surface and sub-surface.

Construction fabric on sub-grade surface.

New specification full depth gravel base.

New bituminous concrete paved travel surface and PAVED SHOULDERS!!!

HENCE FOR EVERY MILE OF NEWLY CONSTRUCTED ROADWAY YOU GET
TWO MILES OF BIKE PATHS.

Take a ride around Washington County and it will be very apparent
to you that anyone that thinks bike paths on the RR right of way are
a good idea, should be committed to a mental institution.

Just for openers drive from Perry to Calais on Route 1 and tell the
people in Washington County how many bike paths they need.

Chairman
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$25M Trans Bond and $6.1M for Wash Cty Bike Path

My father was the MECRR station agent in Ellsworth for some 23 years and probably knows more about those tracks than most. On occasion, he still walks them in the summer and cringes at the condition they are currently in. His belief, though, is that with enough private investment, they could return to a viable method of transportation.

I believe that at some point (okay, call me naive) that an industrial/business/tourist concern will grab hold in Washington County and will have a need for this Calais line to Bangor. Sadly, by then, it may be too late. The only $$ that have been spent by the State of Maine on this line has been on 'studies' that have been shoved into the dark reaches of Augusta never to be read/studied/carried out.

In time, Maine taxpayers will come to realize how penny wise and pound foolish we were to ever let this line go to hell like it has.

Sad.

Bullseye
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$25M Trans Bond and $6.1M for Wash Cty Bike Path

Delete

jemhunter
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Joined: 08/21/2005 - 12:01am
$25M Trans Bond and $6.1M for Wash Cty Bike Path

We need to maintain all the rail system that is left here in Maine. When the trucks stop running that will again be life blood to the rest of the country.

Roger Ek
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$25M Trans Bond and $6.1M for Wash Cty Bike Path

You could build a logging road for $5,000 a mile. The rail bed is still there. Who owns the rails? A scrap dealer could take up the rails for the scrap iron value. The rails would go to Red China with the rest of our scrap iron just as it went to Japan from 1935 to 1941. Yes, we'll get it all back too.

Then we can put the six million into fixing Scott's Route 7, my Route 6 in Topsfield or Route 155 from Howland to LaGrange. That one might be the worst of our paved state roads. Of course not all our state highways are even paved. I bet all the state highways below the Volvo line are paved though.

Chairman
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$25M Trans Bond and $6.1M for Wash Cty Bike Path

[quote="Roger Ek"]....Of course not all our state highways are even paved. I bet all the state highways below the Volvo line are paved though.[/quote]

Roger, just wait a few more weeks. The DOT will get to you. They have to. I'm positive it's just been an oversight. They have all kinds of new money now that the gas taxes are raised *how intolerant of me. I meant to say 'adjusted' * every July 1st without a vote. So Roger, I'm confident they'll be doing your road any day now. :roll:

Naran
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$25M Trans Bond and $6.1M for Wash Cty Bike Path

Weeelllllll.... they're sorta paved. Lots of them down here aren't perfect, either. Although I bet they're still in better condition than up where you are, Roger.

The state has been doing skim coats everywhere for years where real re-paving should have been done, the right way, as Bullseye wrote it. The stuff just falls apart again in three years, or less.

Slingblade
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$25M Trans Bond and $6.1M for Wash Cty Bike Path

Good old skim coats. MDOT did that in Windham one fall on Route 302 between the junction of Routes 202 and 302 and Westbrook. Then they put in new culverts so the road was just as rough as before. In the spring they tore out the whole road and replaced it with new construction.
I understand the cost of the skim coat along with replacing all the culverts was around a million dollars. Gee, it gave us 6 months until the construction began to replace it.
The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem."
-Milton Friedman

BnB
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$25M Trans Bond and $6.1M for Wash Cty Bike Path

I suggest a Tax on bikes of 400 dollars per year to offset the cost to bulid paths and cover the danger/wear and tear they impose when using the roads paid for by the gas tax.

:roll:

angler.k
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$25M Trans Bond and $6.1M for Wash Cty Bike Path

If memory serves there was 400,000 in the last transportation bond for bike paths. Republican candidates need to make sure that everyone knows who puts these things in the bond packages. (I'm betting they were Democrats). People are getting angry at getting ripped off. Maybe even some of the die hard union dems will switch.

Editor
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$25M Trans Bond and $6.1M for Wash Cty Bike Path

Someone should do some deed research. It was common for private property owners to grant railroads permission to run rails on their property. But once the railroads were no longer using the rails, use of the property returns to the private owners, not the state.

Also, when Washington County State Senator Vint Cassidy was in office, he tried unsuccessfully to refurbish the rails to aid both Washington and Aroostook Counties. The idea was to have a rail system that could run Aroostook farm produce to Washington County's deep water port in Eastport to be shipped overseas. Right now, or at least at that time, Aroostook produce was shipped out of Canada.

But the state balked on completing the deep water port in Eastport. And now Baldacci thinks an 87-mile bike path is the best use for the rails. Pure genius!

And they say there's no concerted rural cleansing happening in rural Maine!

Naran
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$25M Trans Bond and $6.1M for Wash Cty Bike Path

Heck, Scott, it's happening everywhere in Maine, not just the rural areas. The attitude everywhere now is "if you can't pay your taxes, sell and move somewhere else."

The taxpayers are nothing more than walking wallets to some of the municipal and state thinking. We're all replaceable, hopefully (to them) by residents with thicker wallets.

Editor
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$25M Trans Bond and $6.1M for Wash Cty Bike Path

Naran -

I tell you what. If the Maine GOP can't build a winnable case against the hollow man in the Blaine House, then the day after Election Day maybe it's time to lay the Maine GOP to rest.

Honest to Pete.

skf

Naran
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$25M Trans Bond and $6.1M for Wash Cty Bike Path

Scott, I can only agree with you. If we can't win the State House and the Blaine House after Balderdash has practically handed us every bit of ammunition we could ask for, it may indeed be time to hang it up.

If Governor Gimmick wins this one, I have to seriously rethink my longterm plans.

Editor
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$25M Trans Bond and $6.1M for Wash Cty Bike Path

[i]Amen[/i], brothe....er, sister

Dan Billings
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$25M Trans Bond and $6.1M for Wash Cty Bike Path

Let's not get all excited about rail. We have wasted much more propping up railroads than we have on bike paths.

Naran
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$25M Trans Bond and $6.1M for Wash Cty Bike Path

The other thing that occurred to me is all the new houses that may have sprung up around previously discontinued rail lines.

I can hear the hollering and screaming now, from abutters who never thought the lines would be active again.

Calvin
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$25M Trans Bond and $6.1M for Wash Cty Bike Path

There are places where this line is MILES from anything even close to civilization. Next thing will be a bounty on coyotees near the bike path. Some of the big steel bridges have washed out from lack of maintenance. Beaver also did their thing and helped take out smaller culverts.
The U.S Route 1 from Jonesboro to Machias is on the same bed as it was in 1948 or before. The two foot wide shoulder addition made in the 60's is now gone due to lack of maintenance. But hey, we don't want succesful industry to help those people have jobs. We want people out so the elite can have it for a playground. How much gas tax do we get from each bicycle?

Lefty
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Great call Governor, NOT

Great call Governor, Washington County will have a top notch recreation trail through Calais while me and every other Washington County poor man beats our butts through miles upon miles of potholes to get to Calais. WAKE UP BALDACCI!

Downeasta
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$25M Trans Bond and $6.1M for Wash Cty Bike Path

It is an unfortunate decision to use taxpayer money to construct the bicycle trail. It would seem intuitive that since the majority of funds for the MDOT is raised through the gas tax, and bicyclists pay for no gas, then the cost of their recreation falls on the motorists who probably doesn't even own a bike. Then there is the opportunity cost that is lost from the disassembly of the rail. Though the trains have not run downeast for a decade now, the potential was always there. The sound of a bicycle cruising by on a former rail bed is the sound of money not being made.

Anonymous
$25M Trans Bond and $6.1M for Wash Cty Bike Path

USER FEES ~ Now there's a reality check for the greenies Thumbs Up

Bruce Libby
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$25M Trans Bond and $6.1M for Wash Cty Bike Path

Let's all pay tribute to Guilford Transportation who saw a great
business deal when they knew one.
They took unprofitable lines off books gave state lines and never
had to spend a dime saved millions!
This is just a continuation of visionary Angus King
"here Johnny B go out and ride your bike", "oh yes daddy"
but first "I have to stick it to the both Maines"!

Let's hope in November we can take his training wheels off and send him home!

JBC
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$25M Trans Bond and $6.1M for Wash Cty Bike Path

Editor wrote:
[quote]Someone should do some deed research. It was common for private property owners to grant railroads permission to run rails on their property. But once the railroads were no longer using the rails, use of the property returns to the private owners, not the state. [/quote]

The Maine DOT owns the line in fee, a 66 foot strip of land for the most part.
I just tried to get a crossing easement in Dennysville but the state does not grant easements, just licenses. As the man at DOT said, " you don't want to go there".

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