page last modified November 16, 2017   417545.

Stop the East-West Corridor

  • Counties can defend their citizens from development of the Corridor even in unorganized territories by adopting county-wide ordinances. See County strategies.
  • Even though the E/W Corridor is not being cited any more as a project in development, various electric corridors and pipelines are being developed that essentially meet its objectives. See below (What's Happening Now?) and by Eric Tuttle.
  • STEWC Steering Committee's 2017 analysis of the state of Maine's Environment in the face of myriad new environmental threats.
  • Penobscot River is now a pressure point in efforts to wrest control over a potential route for the Corridor. See Penobscot Nation.
  • MEPCO triggers concerns over its proposed construction of new utility lines that may be connected with the EWC. See MEPCO
  • Please help Penobscots and the beautiful Penobscot River. See Action and Legal.
  • The 127th Maine Legislature passed LD 1168, June/July, 2015. See Legislature and Press Release.
  • On July 29, 2014, Garland voters passed a Land Use Ordinance regulating any proposed Communication, Utility, Transportation (CUT) corridor with strict guidelines making it very difficult for such a project to go through the town. (See Land-use Ordinances page)
  • In voting on Tuesday, June 10, 2014, Dover-Foxcroft passed a moratorium on any new construction or use requiring approval under the terms of the Town's zoning and land use ordinances and regulations. This moratorium was enacted specifically to include private paved highways, pipeline, and high-tension transmission lines as proposed for the East-West Corridor.
  • Sangerville citizens adopted a Community Bill of Rights Ordinance to protect them from unwanted construction. This is the first such RBO anywhere in the country specifically protecting a municipality from infrastructure projects built without the consent of voters; it is the fourth rights-based ordinance in Maine. See page on RBOs and Bangor Daily News article, September 19, 2013 and video on the Sangerville meeting
  • The Maine Small Business Coalition, representing more than 3,400 small businesses in Maine, has announced its opposition to construction of the East-West Corridor: See MSBC Resolution

Maine citizens from all over the State came together to form Stop the East-West Corridor in early 2012. They are concerned about the proposal to build an East-West Transportation, Communications, and Utilities Corridor across Maine. As proposed, the Corridor would seriously affect many communities and businesses all across the state and would irrevocably change its rural nature.

About us--our mission.

Peter Vigue, CEO of Cianbro Corporation, proposes building a 500- to 2000-foot-wide fenced swath that would bisect Maine from border to border--from Coburn Gore to Calais. greensplitMaine For now, the proposal includes a private, gated toll highway to accommodate high-speed truck traffic along that swath; Vigue is vague about whether it would, as expected, eventually incorporate pipelines in addition to truck traffic to transport oil and natural gas from Alberta and fracking fields in Quebec and New Brunswick or other natural resources from Maine. This could be the largest development project that the State of Maine has ever seen. [more about the corridor]

We are opposed to this corridor for many reasons. While it may benefit Canadian and a few Maine corporate interests, it does not offer economic benefit to Maine citizens, and it will seriously degrade quality of life and environmental conditions for people and wildlife alike, robbing the State of features valuable to tourism.

Cianbro's project promoter Darryl Brown tells audiences his route planners are trying to avoid conservation land, wetlands, vernal pools, and designated wildlife management areas as much as possible, but common sense tells us that highways built for high-speed heavyweight tandem-truck traffic cannot weave around every environmentally sensitive feature along the way. Instead, wetlands would be filled in; ramps, roadbeds, and bridge abutments would be built up; asphalt would be mixed; interchanges and service facilities would be developed. Where would all that sand and gravel come from? How much of Maine's uniquely well-preserved glacial landscape would be scraped up and used to build the highway? What about the aquifers under the gravel, the streamsheds, lakes, and ponds fed by them? What will happen to the cold-water fisheries? What besides Asian commodities and Canadian products will trucks be carrying? Accidents involving heavy trucks have heavy consequences. What about chemical and fuel spills, de-icing and runoff? The environmental impacts could be disastrous and very expensive if not impossible to clean up, affecting the whole region downstream to the coast.

We are not opposed to road development and other improvements that would better connect Maine with Canada and with markets in the U.S. But such a sensitively routed, state-of-the-art highway as proposed would be expensive to build---over four times the cost of improving east-west rail lines between Montreal and eastern Canada, as estimated by the Sierra Club. Rail transport is exponentially safer than truck transport, with far less environmental impact. Many people ask, why is rail not good enough to meet demand for faster east-west freight transport? Proponents of the Corridor say trucks do better at meeting global demand for just-in-time delivery. Or is there something else in the pipeline? Maine's existing east-west rail lines, running not far north of the proposed Corridor route, are already being used to transport crude oil from the Midwest and Alberta (including at least one test run of tar-sands oil) to the Irving refinery in St. John.

The proposed route aligns with convenient export of other natural resources in eastern and northern Maine, increasingly valuable in the global economy. Could the Corridor open the door to more wind farms and transmission lines? What about eastern Maine's abundant supply of fresh water, not just for human consumption but for gas fracking?

Cianbro is promoting the Corridor as a construction and economic development project; who are the investors? As some have asked, is it possible a swath across Maine might belong to someone from China? Cianbro representatives admit that foreign ownership is not only possible but likely.

(See more about such concerns in this Bangor Daily News OpEd, Crosen.)

This petition from Garland captures the heart of the matter: Garland Petition

video: Vigue Proposal Debunked (YouTube)

Discussion on This Issue
of the East-West Corridor. Internet Archive --- Community Video

See also News articles about the East-West Corridor and about similar projects nationwide

What's happening now?

While Cianbro has been mute for some time now on the EWC and has stopped promoting the EWC as a highway, several electric-power and pipeline projects are underway that essentially build the East-West Corridor piecemeal. These include what the Maine Legislature has designated a "Consolidated Corridor" along Stud Mill Road in eastern Maine, a potential water-extraction pipeline planned by Nestlé from Lincoln to an extraction facility in St. Albans, a MEPCO powerline corridor from Chester to Pittsfield, a transmission line through western Maine to carry hydropower from Quebec to Massachusetts, and a gas pipeline from Quebec that governor LePage has called for. See by Eric Tuttle.

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