Maine will consider how to improve highway access in Aroostook County
Maine will study how to improve highway access in Aroostook County under a recently passed bill.
The original proposal would have asked the state to look at expanding Interstate 95 up to Fort Kent. It has the authority to do so dating back to when the Maine Turnpike Authority was created in 1941. The idea has been studied several times but never advanced because of federal funding requirements.
Instead, a group will study how to expand access to the highway, which ends in Houlton. That could look like adding more connectors like the one currently planned for Presque Isle's downtown. Department of Transportation Commissioner Bruce Van Note says it could take a while to see any new developments.
The Presque Isle connector idea, for example, was explored 10 years ago and is just now being put out for design and permitting. And Van Note says the six-mile stretch of road will cost around $80 million.
"So that gives you an idea how long it takes to, you know, find the money for those kinds of things," he said.
The report is expected at the end of the year.