EDMUNDSTON, N.B. — The benefits for New Brunswick’s northwest could be vast if U.S. planners agree to connect an extension of Maine’s Interstate 95 with the Trans-Canada Highway near Saint-Basile.
New Brunswick’s northwest stands to benefit greatly if U.S. planners agree to connect an extension of Maine’s Interstate-95 with the Trans-Canada Highway near Saint-Basile, says the mayor of Edmundston Jacques Martin.
Martin spoke at a public hearing in Caribou, ME Tuesday afternoon about the importance of linking Madawaska, ME and consequently the Edmundston region, to a quicker route to Bangor and major American cities along the eastern seaboard.
“Extending I-95 to Madawaska makes sense both economically and for practical reasons,” Martin told the Public Advisory Committee, which will make a recommendation on which of the 13 proposed routes the highway should take.
The proposed 13 routes lead from either Smyrna Mills, Sherman Mills or Houlton (which are all within 70 kilometres of Woodstock, N.B.) and lead to Fort Kent, Van Buren, Frenchville or Madawaska, which border New Brunswick’s Madawaska County.
“A route like that would be important for our companies because it would be near us,” says Martin. “It can’t go through other areas, it has to come straight here because this is the economic centre. The northwest is in a precarious situation. The advantages from this project would be numerous and we can’t let ourselves be excluded.”
David Morin, a supporter of the project to bring Interstate-95 straight to Madawaska, says having it in Edmundston would make the most sense. A direct link from Smyrna Mills, ME (located about 30 km west of Houlton) to Madawaska, ME would cut the travel time between the two communities by at least an hour and cut mileage by about 135 km.