Maine lawmaker puts brakes on east-west highway
AUGUSTA, Maine—Concerns about the rights of property owners led a state senator who pressed for an east-west highway feasibility study to slow things down.
Republican Doug Thomas of Ripley said Monday that he's asked Gov. Paul LePage to suspend the study until property owners' concerns can be addressed.
Thomas supports the proposal for an east-west toll highway promoted by the chairman of Cianbro Corp. but only if private land is not taken by eminent domain. He said there are also concerns about rights of way and other ways that the land could be used.
His new bill would change Maine's Constitution to prevent the state from taking property for private use through eminent domain. Changing the Constitution requires two-thirds approval by the Legislature and approval of voters through a referendum.