Atlantic businesses urge private highway, liberal truck weight rules

ORONO, Maine — A new east-west toll highway in Maine is being proposed as a way to economically align the Northeast U.S. with Atlantic Canada.

According to the Bangor Daily News, Peter G. Vigue, president and CEO of Cianbro Corp., unveiled his idea for a toll highway from Calais to Coburn Gore. The highway would significantly reduce travel time, costs, and fuel emissions for the 1,000 heavy trucks that travel through Calais daily and are banned from the interstate because of their weight.

“The largest investors in this state in the last 10 years are the Canadians. Let’s accept it, embrace it, understand it. We’re not competitors,” Vigue was quoted as saying.

A taxpayer-funded east-west highway is not a realistic option, Vigue added. He says he has already gotten the “thumbs up” for a private highway from a New York bank.

Vigue spoke at an event was organized by the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce, which launched Access Atlantica — a renewed effort (part of the larger Atlantica movement) to form a business alliance between Bangor and Saint John, N.B.

A panel discussion on Maine’s truck weight limits was also part of the program, reports the newspaper.

Many businesses and carriers in the region say the federal law limit of 80,000 pounds on many interstate highways severely hinders the efficiency of business and trade.

— via Bangor Daily News

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