ST. STEPHEN, N.B. — Local Mayor Bob Brown says the gateway to the U.S. will be the bypass of New Brunswick if a new international bridge — and four-lane highway — aren’t built soon.
Brown is worried the mostly two-lane Hwy. 1, linking St. Stephen to Saint John, is starting to look less than appealing with new, state-of-the-art highways being built in other areas, such as between Fredericton and Moncton.
“The need to upgrade Hwy. 1 is a major concern and we’re hoping, with assistance from groups from Sussex to St. Stephen, to urge our government to make that a priority. It hasn’t been a priority. It’s been on hold,” says Brown.
His hope to spark construction stems with the new international bridge that St. Stephen officials have dreamed about for decades. If this becomes reality, the highway will be upgraded, he says. He’s hoping a location for a new bridge will be chosen soon and that a new, state-of-the-art crossing into Maine will prompt roadwork not long after.
Percy Mockler, New Brunswick’s transportation minister, says he isn’t ignoring St. Stephen. He says building a new bridge to Maine, and a four-lane Hwy. 1, are important.
“The new border crossing at St. Stephen-Calais is a top priority on my list,” he says.
Officials from Maine’s Department of Transportation are holding a meeting in Calais next Thursday to discuss the bridge location options.
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