CMP trail work means that snowmobile riders need caution

Posted Dec. 02, 2011, at 11:07 p.m.

MORRILL, Maine — A major Central Maine Power line upgrade project that will be worked on this winter will mean that snowmobile riders must use caution when traveling on transmission line trails.

Bob LaFontaine, vice president of the coastal region of the Maine Snowmobile Association, said that the electric utility is planning to upgrade transmission lines in a dozen Waldo County towns along with other locations around the state.

“They’re going to be ripping them up and working on them,” he said Tuesday of the local trails. “But snowmobiling is a big sport in Maine. They’re going to work with us.”

John Titus, a public relations official who is working on behalf of Central Maine Power, said that the utility will not close trails in Waldo County.

“We’re in there doing a little side trimming and tree clearing,” he said. “We just want to make these riders aware of the fact that there will be these activities. It’s somewhat precautionary.”

The work is part of the massive Maine Power Reliability Program, which began in August of 2010. The project is expected to take five years to complete, will encompass 350 miles of transmission line corridor and will cost $1.4 billion.

This winter, sections of the transmission line trails in Pittsfield and Lewiston will be closed due to the project. Titus said that Central Maine Power is working with snowmobile clubs in those regions to redirect riders around the closed stretches.

He will make a presentation about the scope of the work to be done this winter in the midcoast area at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, at the Tri-Town Snowmobile Club at the end of the Brown Road in Morrill.

An official from the Maine Department of Conservation also will attend the presentation, according to LaFontaine.

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