February 23, 2018
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Comments for: DOT denies wrongdoing in soliciting bids for east-west highway study

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  • Anonymous


  • This is what Lepage meant by cutting the Red Tape!

    Lets get the ball rolling before anybody catches onto what is going on!

    • Tyke

      … and as long as the fast tracked special techniques lead to the contract going to a major supporter of LePage — what would anyone object?

  • Oh please ! DOT issues the Program Document, knowing full well that they don’t have enough information in the 1st place, and then put it on hold when they get caught in the press by their own process. Who’s is kidding who ? And the fact that DOT itself rejected HNTB’s bid, because of the same said Lack of Information, tells me that the DOT itself knew dammed well that the information needed wasn’t available in the 1st place, but put the Program Document out there just to satisfy a artificial requirement in order to ‘go thru the motion’s’. The real question now is who is benefiting from these ‘motion’s’ and manipulating of the process ? And why is the DOT, and the Governor, suddenly so dammed concerned about policy and procedure, NOW, when 4 months ago they were perfectly ready, and showed every indication of, steamrolling this process flat as an egg on 95 at the height of Portland’s rush hour in order to get the project started? Naw, there something going on here and the fact that the DOT itself is now beginning to come apart because of this sudden increase in public oversight of the entire process, especially with only 80 some days to go ’till the Election, tells me that someone is getting not just nervous about the scrutiny but is almost panicked, to the point of terror, about it.  

    And as far as funding goes, if the $ 300,000.– K was already budgeted into DOT’s overall existing funding available for discretionary use, then why was the DOT, and the Governor, calling for a legislative act to allow the study money to be spent ? DOT, by it’s own statement here, has that authority to use the money independently for such studies. So why do they need a note from Paulie ? Some kind of weird Simon Say’s ? Or is there someone in DOT who knows the truth and is not about to get caught without a chair when ‘the music’ stops and not have a free pass card in their hand ? Either way, this whole mess is beginning to show signs of collapsing from the inside out. And the closer to Nov 6th this gets, the more the pressure is gonna increase. And no amount of sudden legislative or Executive ‘magic’ is going to make this go away, if ever ………………..

    • Anonymous

      Your Lepage derangement syndrome is acting up again.

      Maybe a trip to southern Maine is needed……………

      •  Hi Yowsa..I hope you will take some time to read the rfp  that was issued and read the response that was received..and also to read all the past expert studies that say a limited access highway from Coburn Gore to Calis woud not only have little or no benefit for Maine but possibly cause harm through traffic diversion to existing important business corridors.

        Here is Angus King as Gvernor concurring with these expert studies:


        I had asked MDOT to post both the RFP and the technical proposal from the one bidder at their website but I guess they haven’t done that yet.

        I am very happy to forward it to you or anyone via email.   but better yet, just so that MDOT knows citizens care write to MDOT constituent Liaison Nina Fisher or project director Nathan Howard.

        In another post above I lay out my concerns having read every scrap of paper
        ever produced on the East West Highway dozens of times.   Read it for yourself and form your own informed opinion.  I am quite sure you will end up with mre questions that certainty.

        • Anonymous

          Did you even read the link you just posted???  Here’s a direct quote from it,

          “It is clear from the studies that considerable economic benefits would accrue to the State by improving our links to Canada and in particular the growing markets of Montreal and Toronto. I am therefore proposing a seven-step approach that will achieve that desired result through improvements to Maine’s transportation system.”

          For a so called “career policy legislative analyst advocate” the analyst part seems a little wanting

          •  Renderman90

            What you are missing here is that he is rejecting the toll road, which was found to be of marginal benefit and possible harm and opting instead for improvements to 9 and 2 and already completed or underway an upgrade to the Calais crossing and the construction of a Brewer Connector.  Both the MDOT’s Executive summary, posted at their site and the Governor’s statement referring specifically to the toll rd/limited access plan for Coburn Gore to Calais say little or no benefit and possible harm to Maine.

            All past work, and nothing has changed to change those findings, say that maintaining and improving 9 and 2 as a public east west road is the best strategy for Maine in terms of highways.

            That is apparent in the link I posted..You will see..no touting of a limited access highway or toll rd.

            I am happy to send you the executive summry via email which has very clear language exactly as I have relayed above that the limited access/toll way approach is not good for Maine. But it is also righ thgere at the MDOT site.

            The more you read the more you will see that what I have consistently reported and laid out here is exactly 100% accurate.

          • Anonymous

             “…and nothing has changed to change those findings”

            Lindsay, do you have some sort of objective, factual data to back up your claim that nothing has changed in regional and global economics in the past 13 years to justify taking a closer look at our transportation system?  I’m skeptical, only because in the past, you have made unilateral declarations of “fact” which have turned out to be false.  It would seem that the unprecedented expansion of the Panama and Suez canals might have a significant impact on Maine’s economic situation, not to mention 13 more years of decline in Maine’s rail system, and 13 more years of our youthful population fleeing our jobless state to take jobs elsewhere.

          •  You said in your typical playground bully mudsling style:

             ” I’m skeptical, only because in the past, you have made unilateral declarations of “fact” which have turned out to be false.”

            in your same style I answer “prove it”  “Name one”  and provide a link so we can all look at that for our selves.

            Learn to use google and you will find yourself quickly educated on the implications of the Panama canal and the obvious implications for Maine,

            If you did a little more homework and a little less mudslinging your contribution s here would be more useful in furthering our common understanding of the issues.

          • Anonymous

            Lindsay, your statement that an “armed” bodyguard removed a reporter from a Vigue meeting in Augusta has absolutely no basis in any verifiable credible source.  You made up the claim that there were weapons involved.  Even the biased leftist Phoenix reporter in this incident failed to state that there were guns involved.  Please, let’s get beyond this foolishness and discuss the issue at hand, which is the benefits of a new highway to Maine people.

          •  You are then calling Lance Tapley a liar..not me..I cited his source.  And there are too many to enumerate or recap on ordinary citizens having encounters with Merrills guards on Vigue’s security detail.

            Again Brandon..homework..homework hoemework.  ( perhaps you are confused Brandon and to you that conjures an image of folk in police uniforms..these guys are dressed in business suits)

            I have no reason to doubt  all these independent accounts from respectable conservative ordinary folk and have therefore freely cited all these publicly reported encounters with Vigue’s security goons from Merrill.  My citing these accounts and your refusing to believe them doesn’t make me a liar Brandon it makes you an idealogue who refuses to see the truth.

          • Anonymous

            Again Lindsay…. verification, verification, verification…. Rumors and heresay from anti-highway activists are not credible sources.  Or don’t you understand that?  Lance Tapley made not one single mention of armed security people in his article from April 18th in the left-wing rag, the Portland Phoenix, though you claim that Tapley was removed by an armed person.  Check it out yourself.  The more “facts” you concoct, the less credible you become.

          •  How about what Merrill itself describes as its “executive security”..link to their site..trained detectives/body guards..armed

            I am just curious Brandon, armed or not, do you think a person genuinely seeking to do good for th epeople of Maine and genuinelt wanting to engage them in discussion baout the highway would hire exceutive body guards Even little old ladies have reported encounters with them at all the venues where Vigue has been glad handing this roadway.

            How does having body guards to protect you from th epublic foster trust Brandon?

          • Anonymous

            “do you think a person genuinely seeking to do good for th epeople of
            Maine and genuinelt wanting to engage them in discussion baout the
            highway would hire exceutive body guards”

            Your point is just plain silly.  Here’s a bi-partisan example:  Ronald Reagan, JFK, John Lennon and Gerald Ford all wanted to do good for the people, and all of them were the targets of dangerous loonies.  C’mon Lindsay.  Use some common sense.

          • hilarious..throwVin the pope..do you think vigue is a celebrity of that statute..poor thing brandon..you need to get out more.

          • Anonymous

            It’s sort of a bittersweet sight to watch your veneer cracking under the strain of a logical argument.  Truly, I don’t mean to seem like I’m belittling you.  I’m honestly just checking your views for truth and reason.  And I do feel the discussion is good for airing out the views on this matter.

          • tosh..pure tosh

          • Anonymous

            Brandon is correct in no way did Mr. Tapley say bodyguards were armed in his article about the augusta meeting.  

          • Renerman90..first I would have to go back and see whether Brandon has correctly quoted me as reporting “armed” guards.

            Vigue’s security detail is via Merrill and what they advertise is armed guards who are trained in both security and investigation.

            Brandon often invents quotes not just of me but of others.

            To me if you want to build trust with the local community you don’t hire an executive security task force to block any one who might ask tough questions or is not on your side. That is what has been widely reported in the newspapers and LTE’s of those at the many venues where Vigue has been pitching the highway.

          • Anonymous

            “Brandon often invents quotes not just of me but of others…”

            That statement of yours, of course, is just another of your falsehoods.  Lindsay, you should realize by now that I know exactly what you have said in the past because I am fact-checking you every step of the way.  As for your concocted claim that an armed bodyguard removed Lance Tapley from the Augusta meeting, here is your exact quote from July 20th at 9:20 AM:

            “He even had a reputable press person with prior approval to cover the
            Augusta event removed by his armed security personnel along with several
            other people who were ordinary citizens.”

            Nowhere in Tapley’s biased left-wing diatribe did he mention anything about weapons being employed to remove him.  The claims about arms were strictly your own concoction.  You claim that you only provide facts and then let the people decide.  I contend that many of your “facts” are contrived, and spun against the idea of a highway.  It’s only fair that critics like me can follow up with challenges to your claims so that the truth might eventually win out. 

            Also, my understanding is that Vigue’s security precautions are not due to good old everyday Mainers, little old ladies, and respectable people who come to listen to his comments and ask questions.  The security is due to threats made by extremist environmental groups like EarthFirst who advocate violence and vandalism, as reported in the Portland Press Herald on May 27th.  Just from reading some of the violent rhetoric from anti-highway people on the blogs is enough to warrant the idea of setting up prudent security precautions. 

          •  Wow..I’ll check that myself..good to know you can do your homework..you know of course that I am in private contact with a huge network of people on the highway issue..and again Merrill’s own advertising for executive security features armed guards..it is standard for executive security.   

            The real issue remains he has used the security detail consistently at every public event blocking admittance of anyone who will not agree with and swallow whole his glad handing sell .  There have been no reported threats of violence or acts of violence at any of these events and yet Vigue’s security detail has been at every event and their are accounts too numerous to related of ordinary folk having encounters with them.

            With Tapley, who confronted Vigue at the Maria Fuentes event in Augusta, Vigue said he knew nothing about it and it must have been hotel security/  Lance followed up by phone and Vigue admitted it was his security detail but he “leaves it to them”

            This is just one of those embarrassing truths about Vigue and his approach, about his regard for citizens and their concerns.

            It is Vigue  and you for sure not me who has a credibility problem and the blog ratings show that..don’t you think?  That’s why you target me isn;t it Brandon?  Do you think that isn’t obvious to everyone.  Do yo think your carping at me in any way detracts from the effect of ehat I post.  You are just throwing tomatoes like a spolied brat because you can’t engage at the same level.  Everyone sees that..

          • Anonymous

             All I have ever done is to respond to your comments. For some reason, you feel that is some sort of cardinal sin, though you claim that we are all here to see what the facts are in open debate, as is the case in a robust democracy.  And I don’t even know what a “blog rating” is.  What is it?  And why does it matter?

          • Briney

            To Maine people – none.
            To Canadians -everything.

          • please provide a link to that statement Brandon. Where exactly did I say that.?

            I have indeed made many many refernces to the numerous public/published citizen accounts of encounters with Vigue’s security details blocking them from entering and ejecting them and I may somewhere have described Merill’s security service from their web site which offers investigation, security and trained armed personnel. Also as an official myself long ago I know that is customary in executive security.

            But please first provide the exact quote not your version of it and we’ll go from there.

          • Anonymous

             See below for your exact quote.

          •  not seeing it..were is the link Barndon?..you never have anytthing to offer other thna your play ground bully mud slinging..

          • Anonymous

            For heaven’s sake, if you can’t even remember what you yourself have said, here it is:

            “He even had a reputable press person with prior approval to cover the
            Augusta event removed by his armed security personnel along with several
            other people who were ordinary citizens.” ~Lindsey Newland Bowker, July 20, 2012

          • would you kindly provide a link to this statement you claim I made?

            I certainly would never for a second rely on your version of what I said as proof of anything.

          • Anonymous

             Lindsay, I don’t have to twist your statements to discredit your ideas.  You do a good enough job of that on your own.

          •  tosh

          • Briney

            Stick with it, Lindsey.

            This E-W has been going on for more than 30 years.    It makes more sense today, than it did back then.  Republicans and Democrats vetoed it.  

          • Anonymous

            There is no rejecting of a toll road in that summary. It says that the most jobs would be created for the toll road option, the most travel time would saved, and have the biggest impact on gross state product.  Not to mention it states that a toll road would have the biggest net gain on tourism days spent here. 

            That summary lays out  the pros and cons of ALL the options. That summary neither endorses or rejects any option that’s in there.

            In your view what your saying might seem 100% accurate, but what i’m reading on paper says otherwise.

          •  Renderman 90.

            Running a bit now so don’t have time to pull all together that is needed to make a through reply to show you that what I have said is true..absolutely true..  I take it you are now referring not to  the Angus King link I provided but to the executive summary at the MDOT site? 

            That executive summary (on the Wilbur Smith financial feasibility piece)is a little cloudy but there are two very clear summaries.

            Also the findings I am referring to are not the cost and feasibility study which Wilbur Smith did but to the parallel piece on economic benefits to Maine .  That is up there at the MDOT site and it is those findings I am referring to.

            There is a piece I want to find for you where King agrees completely with and repeats the findings of the economic impacts analysis..no benefit for Maine and possible harm to existing business corridors through diversion. 

            If this conversation closes before I can post it here  email me and I will find the King summary for you and send it.  I have cited it before in other posts with a link but now I can’t lay my hands on it.

            But I think you’d agree on careful reading of what I linked you to..Angus Kings public speech on the East West Highway as Governor, he is not talking about the Vigue toll road. He is talking about improving the East West link we already have..Roue 9 and route 2 and also not emphasizing highway as the center piece for economic development in the north bit rail.

            Renderman90..I respect that you are trying , as I am, to find the truth and that you are sharing what you find.   approach where people bring information that lets others read and make up their own minds and get their own information and expand our base is what makes this blog valuable in addressing these vitally important public policy issues.

      • Just did as a matter of fact. And if the truckstop and service area comment’s are any indication, then Maine’s about to get the Mother of all Lollypop’s inserted you-know-where. To a man, and 1 particular lady trucker in Hermon, they all said the samething, namely that while the Highway might be quick for the Canadian’s, it’s all but useless for the US trucker’s since no US trucker in their right mind wants to go thru the crap of crossing and re-crossing. In fact both the PRIME and the Werner driver’s almost universally said that the E-W would be the biggest ride seen since Lady Godiva got a horse shoved under her. But the Canadian trucker’s were almost frothing at the mouth like a rabid dog just waiting. Now if our own cross-country driver’s can see this for the giveaway that it is, it makes me ask just what are the folk’s in Augusta looking at and why ?

        • Anonymous

          Apparently, the drivers at the Lincoln paper mill disagree with you, since their CEO believes the highway will save time and millions of dollars a year in money which can be reinvested into the plant and the people who run the plant.

        • Anonymous

          I take it that you’re a truck driver, eh?

    • Anonymous

      “And no amount of sudden legislative or Executive ‘magic’ is going to make this go away, if ever”

      I have to chuckle…Super Expert Mike Kiernan jumps the gun, along with Donald Sussman’s Portland Press Herald, claiming wrong-doing where there isn’t any.  Now Mike and Donald are standing there, caught with their pants down (a favorite Kiernan analogy, btw) and all Mike can do is bleat like a stuck piglet.  Even the Press Herald stopped short of saying there was any actual wrongdoing, and only would go so far as to say there “may” have been wrongdoing while loading up their article with the thoughts of critics from the left.  Looks like it’s a good thing Sussman’s team used the word “may.”  It’ll be interesting to see now if the Press Herald does a subsequent article to state the counter arguments that the Bangor Daily was able to uncover about the so-called wrongdoing.

      • Anonymous

         He desperately needs to learn the proper use of the apostrophe, too.  Instead of spending too much time out here, many posters should take that time and enroll in remedial English grammar classes.

    • Anonymous

      would you have rather they spend 300k and not told anyone at all??

  • My issue with DOT on this is that no money should be spent or time invested unless there is a demonstrated benefit or need for Mainers.  It made no sense to me that when MDOT’s own experts have found that there are only marginal benefits and possible harm ( through diversion away from existing business corridors) to any kind of limited access highway between Coburn Gore and Calais.  Those studies. MDOT’s executive Summary, and Governor King’s own statements are all out there on the MDOT website at their Easy West Highway Page.

    Nothing has happened to change that and it doesn’t take a study to determine that Vigue;s belief that the Panama Canal will be a positive game changer is just foolishness.  Experts around the globe have weighed in on that.  It is about a consolidation in the container industry globally and all but a few US ports will take a big hit.  That is the only “game changer” Vigue has pointed to and it is utter nonsense.  (MDOT RFP did ask proposers to speak to that and the sole biddet did not even mention it)

    So, to me, the whole idea that it was time for a “bankable feasibility study” was just crazy.

    I encourage everyone though to get a copy of both the RFP that was issued and the one respons received.  The gap between the two is almost incomprehensible.  The bidder which has merged with the prior author of all the State’s East West Highway Studies ( Wilbur Smith & Associates) is peaking with a completely different point of view and voice than Wilbur Smith did in all those previous studies, including its 2010 Can Am report.

    In the proposal just submitted they seem to assume ( as I have always that the “totally private”  road Vigue describes would be done via Maine’s asphalt lobby authored and secretly passed highway privatization statute, Title 23 Section 4251 ( no public notice, no public comment).
    The MDOT RFP hints at creating a “private Toll Authority” ( not addressed at all by the bidder) and there were some shadowy changes to the Maine Turnpike Authority legsilation last year ( also in secret) that suggest a rile of MDOT as floater of bonds for the East West Highway( someone from MTA piped up at a conference that there would be “no problem” with the MTA floating the bonds.

    So the whole shadowy behind the scenes inter agency shenanigans on this round of visitation of the East West Highway has been less than a model of transparency, public inout and public benefit.

    As a career policy legislative analyst advocate it reminds me of the old Robert Moses power broker trick of setting up all the legislation and authority ahead of time behind the scenes to facilitate a project no one would agree o or want without ever mentioning or referring to the project then whhammy..when all the pieces are in place it just sails right through.

    That will happen here if we don’t all unite behind repeal of both the highway privatization statute and recent changes in the MTA statues put in place to do just this.  We should make that a poison pill for every single legisltor seeking re relectin statewide..they have to come out pubicly right no pleding to repeal both of these changes before the election.

    All this fluff about the feasibility study and Thomas wanting to re evaluate is just a diversionary tap dance.  As Thomas well knows the privatization statute witten by Cianbro, which incdes use of emnent domain, is already waiting and ready to hold the further development of the Esat West Highway behind closed doors.

    • Anonymous

       Lindsay, you don’t know for a fact that the global shift in shipping does not present opportunities for Maine.  Furthermore, the fact that you are an outspoken opponent of the EW Highway proposal means that few people will ever accept your conclusions as objective and unbiased, let alone professionally credible.  That’s why it makes sense to have an independent study that takes into consideration the changing global economic/trade conditions that face us today, and not rely on 13 year old obsolete studies. 

      As for shadowy, behind the scenes, shenanigans…you saw how quickly these latest allegations evaporated as soon as someone took the time to ask for explanations from the officials involved.  I suspect that much of your accusatory posture is based on similar biased conjecture.

      •  Brandon,

        Do you know how to use google?  Look at the many articles on the failure of the Portland Containerport..google “Container Port Trends” and “Panama Canal”..it is all out there.for anyone with any interest in the truth to see..

        I have to say I applaud that part of the MDOT RFP as they had asked for an evaluation of what if any benefits might derive to Maine from the Panama Canal..perhaps they felt that as obvious as it is globally they need to put that to rest..I don’t know.

        I am 100% sure of my facts on what globally is going on with container port consolidation and global analysis by experts on what a disaster that consolidation is going to be for most ports. 

        • Anonymous

          Lindsay, Thanks for an excellent informative post. I see your Robert Moses and raise you a Credit Mobilier with us all as Indians or Chinese coolies.

          •  seamus..welcome aboard..no one else gets the Robert Moses reference..no one else gets that all the legislation that is needed to do this entire deal behind closed doors already exists and that the public never had a chance to see it or comment on it or explore its implications.

            exactly..the bananism of Maine..the Governor’s surpirse move will obviously be the Koch Bros/Alec Climate hnage Pacakage..the biggest scariest ugliest trojan horse to land yet in our legislature..a series of petroleum indistry sponsored bills for states to among oter thing sop out of cap and trade and invalidate all legsilation reomised on carbon emissions causing global warming.  These thngs actually get traction here because of people like Brandon who choose not tto read and leran and find out the truth.  People like Brandon who just carp and taunt and parrot ideology.

            seamus..how do we get people to understand what is really going on ?

          • Anonymous

            “people like Brandon who choose not tto read and leran and find out the truth.”

            Lindsay, for one brief shining moment, I thought I would put aside my disdain for your belief that you and you alone take the time to read and learn and find the truth.  I intend to keep examining your statements closely, because I think on the whole, we need to hear from all sides on this important local issue, and I certainly do not believe you have a monopoly on the truth.

          •  You are right Brandon..I do not have or claim to have a monoploy on the truth   ..we all need to bring facts and links to help the entire community understand these key policy issues.  I look forward to what you might bring us as useful links Brandon.

          • Briney

            The BDN should use your informative views, either in column, or, whenever Vigue and Le Page – and the gang – of course, decide to impress us with their hair brained scheme.

          •  Briney,

            That is very kind and very flattering but you could do as well..any of us here who chooses to seek and share the truth could do that just as well and many many here do that every single day.

            I am a great believer in the common wisdom . I believe that isf we really want answers that serve the majority of people and that are true we will all transcend party and other ideology and actually arrive at a place we all agree is the best decision on any issue.

            My goal is to make sure we all have the facts and the complete background on any issue.  At first because we all have different values and experience we may not agree on what do to about those facts.   But a critical first step is to have all the facts.are

            You, Briney are a maker and finder of the common wisdom..you Briney can help get us there by bringing facts links and information here for us all to learn more.

            Thanks for being here.

          • Anonymous

             Oh jeesh… cue the violin music…..

        • Anonymous

          “Do you know how to use google? Look at the many articles on the failure of the Portland Containerport”

          Lindsay, I intend to look closer at the many articles that you have mentioned here, as you’ve suggested, which will take some time.  For now though, I can point to one of the first articles that I have come across, a report conducted by the Institute for Water Resources on behalf of the Army Corps of Engineers entitled:  The Implications of Panama Canal Expansion to U.S. Ports and Coastal Navigation Economic Analysis.

          “The proposed expansion of the Panama Canal will have significant impacts on shipping routes, port development, cargo distribution and a host of others to the U.S. maritime system. One of its greatest impacts will be felt in the fast-growing container trade where expansion will enable larger vessels to transit the canal. Vessel calls on the East and Gulf Coasts are also expected to increase significantly as cargo shifts away from the congested West Coast.”

          The supporters of the EW Highway have said that this increase in container traffic provides great opportunities for Eastport due to the port’s deep water, deeper than nearly all the ports on the east coast, and an advantage for Eastport in dealing with the extra large vessels that will be using the expanded canals.  At last, Maine has a potential business advantage that few areas on the entire east coast have.  These are examples of the types of variables that could be examined in a new highway study, to see if an EW Highway connection between Eastport and markets in the midwest can help attract this container traffic to Eastport.  If Eastport becomes a busy global gateway to and from American markets, it is easy to see how Maine businesses could thrive in support of the port and freight traffic through the state…which I believe is why the people in Downeast Maine are keeping a very open mind about the highway thus far, and many are openly embracing the idea.

          •  Brandon, I am so pleased really that you are doing your own research to reach your own conclusions as to the implications for Maine of the Suex expansion.

            Here is a quick overview for you


            I can’t always help you with your homeowrk but here in a nutshell is the problem for Maine an all New England ports post panama upgrade


            (1) it is about larger volume and therefore lower costs per trip..

            (2) it will accelerate a trend that is already hurting N/E ports of container port consolidation to a few in the south that have both immediate offloading viz distance from the caal to high volume short distance markets. 

            (3) we don’t have any of those things

            digging a 50 foot harbor is not what will make  adifference.  Our ports are obviously key and what we need is stargety to anticipate and offset the distastous impacts the panan expnasion will have on all our ports..we will be less able to move goods out..get it???  Nocontainer shipping  no way to move our stuff out or move stuff in.

            So what we need to be doing is making plans and developing technologies  that allow us to use our beautiful and many ports  with a different technology based on smaller volumes and more mechanized and simplified onloading and offloading.  There is actually a naval architect n Massachusetts with a patent on this and looking for further studies and support.

            It is just plain dumb to defy what the world globally understands and knows about what the Panama expansion means to us in the northeast and try to sell a bigus highway as needed to take adavantage of that.

            The more homeowrk you do Brandon..the more analaysis and thinking you do on that Brandon..the clear that will be to you.  I hope in appropriate context you will share links to new artilcles and new information with us so we can learn more too..

          • Glad this is still open Brandon because here is the juiciest and clearest quote from the supply chain artricle I linked you to earlier analysing the impacts of the Panama Canal:

            “It is also likely that as the size of container ships in the U.S.-Asia trade increases, carriers will increasingly concentrate vessel calls at fewer USEC ports. It seems clear that the Panama Canal Authority and only a handful of USEC ports will benefit after 2014. The other USEC ports would do well to remember the words of former Montreal Mayor Jean Drapeau, who said, “The Olympics can no more lose money than a man can have a baby.” Following the 1976 Olympics, the city was left with a debt that took 30 years to repay. Some ports that are betting on a post-2014 cargo boom could suffer a similar fate.” http://www.supplychainquarterly.com/topics/Logistics/201201panama/

            Completely the opposite of what Vigue with input from David Cole has been touting as how Maine will become the gateway post panama canal.

            I sen tthis entire study to MDOT encouraging them without reference to the East West Highway at all to undertake an analysis of what the Panama Canal means to Maine and how it impacts all of our transportation corridor priorities that are port development centered.

            Quite contrary to what Vigue has been touting, Maine ports post Panama will continue the huge huge declines of the past decade.

            We need an entirely new post Panama plan for our ports and I hope MDOT will make that study a top priority.

          • Anonymous

            Lindsay…you cite the source that backs up your pre-determined mindset, and you call the source the one and only truth of the matter.  The fact is that your source is filled with conjecture:  “It is also LIKELY…. It SEEMS clear… It is my OPINION…hope is PROBABLY overblown… The most interesting opportunities MAY open up…These ports COULD emerge…carriers MIGHT deploy ships…etcetera.  The fact is that your experts that disregard a Northeastern port renaissance aren’t the only experts out there.  There are plenty of knowledgeable people in the industry who feel that the shift in global shipping patterns will present plenty of opportunity for the Northeast. An example from the global supply chain publication, World Trade:

            “The expanded canal will create additional options for carriers. “[The
            expansion] will create more competition and, ultimately, lower costs of
            goods, both imported and exported,” says Kurt Nagle, president and CEO at the American Association of Port Authorities.

            Ports in the Northeast U.S. are gearing up for the expansion by making
            significant infrastructure upgrades, both on- and off-dock. Their
            strategy is simple: convince companies that by taking an all-water route
            from Asia to the Northeast through the Panama Canal with a short truck haul to the final destination—as opposed to unloading cargo at a West Coast port and rail or truck that cargo inland, especially to the Midwest and East Coast—they can save thousands of dollars in costs per container.”

            In other words… the debate is on.  The jury is still out.  NOW is the time that people must act, such as in studying the value of building an EW Highway that might make Eastport an economical way for shippers to get their products from the extra large vessels, overland, to markets in the Midwest, and finally give us a competitive advantage over other ports of entry.  I don’t deny that your expert whom you quote is knowledgeable.  But he is only one expert with his distinct point of view.  There are other experts, just as respectable, who feel there is opportunity for the Northeast in this matter.  To state that the debate is over, done, closed, with Maine once again the loser, is not a true reflection of the situation.  Let’s get an independent study done which can settle the matter of economic benefit.

    • Anonymous

       This is a silly rant because the legislature voted to spend the funds. Get on the wagon, rant on something useful.

      •  Clamcove1..I agree with you completely that this whole exchange over MDOT ethics in doing the study ahead of legislative approval is not the most important issue.

        It is an absolute fact that they issued the study before there was approval  of $300k for it..but they didn’t need that..they can study whatever they want and had announced in February they might do that.

        My issue with MDOT isn’t the charges being levied against them in this and other pieces  on starting the study ahead of legislative approval but in wasting any time at all in further study of Vigue’s wacky plan.  They had just paid for a 2010 study on Maine’s transportation needs and the East West Highway was just not on the lis..not Vigue’s East West Highway anyway.

        So why with so many desperately needed transportation projects all over the state did they waste time and money initiating yet another study to appease Vigue?

        • Anonymous

          Maybe the EW Highway is a good idea, despite what opponents like you might say.  We need an independent assessment in order for the public to know for certain.  If an independent study says the EWH plan is wacky, then fine, nobody will invest in the project and it will go away.  The members of the public who currently support the plan aren’t going to believe the plan is wacky just because Lindsay Bowker says it’s wacky.

          • I certainly hope not.. I hope everyone reads all the documents, asks MDOT all their questions in writing and decides for themselves.

            I am not here to give my opinion..only to present facts and my understanding of them from my own background which is 33 years as a legislative/policy analyst and advocate. Others with a different background will see things in those same facts that are equally important and I will learn from that.

            That’s my work here Brandon.. I offer what I have found..I give my understanding of it from my own background and experience and I hope others will add to my understanding and bring new facts. The more we all do that together collaboratively here at these blogs, the closer we will come to the common wisdom..to the right answer for all the people of Maine.

            And isn’t that our goal? To discern in these issues what is best for the people of Maine?

          • Anonymous

             Lindsay, you speak out of both sides of your mouth, and I’m not sure you even know you’re doing it.  Take this for example:  “I am not here to give my opinion..only to present facts…”  preceded in the same breath by “My issue with MDOT is…in further study of Vigue’s wacky plan.”  You are obviously deeply biased in this debate, and to claim that you are some sort of objective fact dispenser is false, and actually rather laughable.

          • Yes, it is with intention that I name and hold up what I have no respect for . It is with intention that Inow call Vigue’s proposal a “wacky plan”..It deserves no credibility..nor does he.

            I do that also with testimony on issues. I name what it is because to show respect for something that deserves no respect only encourages it and validates it. I did that with every single piece of ALEC trash that got to hearing this year. I named in my testimony the ALEC waterboys bringing this trash to our legislature.

            I have no respect for Mr. Vigue..he has told too many lies and presented too many falsehoods and he has treated concerned citizens and the press despicably. I cannot speak with any respect for his plan having spent a good deal of time studying it and reviewing what experts have said.

            I make no apologies for calling Vigue’s plan wacky. I am intentionally encouraging others to feel free to name what they see, to say what is apparent and plain.

            But even in my testimony as here I always also do more than that. I consistently try to provide high quality links for people to read so they can form their own opinions. That is my primary purpose.

            But I never hesitate to name what I see once I see it is not worthy of respect. That’s why I am being so blunt with you..consistently naming you as a mud slinger and playground bully..because the caliber and tone of your input overall deserves no respect.

          • Anonymous

            Yes Lindsay, I notice how you have called me names and called several other folks names also, while I have not called you a name once in this discussion…I respect you at least that much. 

            It’s too bad. I think if we could speak civilly to one another, we could learn a lot about these issues in a friendly manner.

          • Brandon Here is the shunning the Iroquois Confederacy mandates in their constiutions for those who do not faithfully serve the common good:

            19. If at any time it shall be manifest that a Confederate Lord has not in mind the welfare of the people or disobeys the rules of this Great Law, the men or women of the Confederacy, or both jointly, shall come to the Council and upbraid the erring Lord through his War Chief. If the complaint of the people through the War Chief is not heeded the first time it shall be uttered again and then if no attention is given a third complaint and warning shall be given. If the Lord is contumacious the matter shall go to the council of War Chiefs. The War Chiefs shall then divest the erring Lord of his title by order of the women in whom the titleship is vested. When the Lord is deposed the women shall notify the Confederate Lords through their War Chief, and the Confederate Lords shall sanction the act. The women will then select another of their sons as a candidate and the Lords shall elect him. Then shall the chosen one be installed by the Installation Ceremony.

            When a Lord is to be deposed, his War Chief shall address him as follows:

            “So you, __________, disregard and set at naught the warnings of your women relatives. So you fling the warnings over your shoulder to cast them behind you.

            “Behold the brightness of the Sun and in the brightness of the Sun’s light I depose you of your title and remove the sacred emblem of your Lordship title. I remove from your brow the deer’s antlers, which was the emblem of your position and token of your nobility. I now depose you and return the antlers to the women whose heritage they are.”

            The War Chief shall now address the women of the deposed Lord and say:

            “Mothers, as I have now deposed your Lord, I now return to you the emblem and the title of Lordship, therefore repossess them.”

            Again addressing himself to the deposed Lord he shall say:

            “As I have now deposed and discharged you so you are now no longer Lord. You shall now go your way alone, the rest of the people of the Confederacy will not go with you, for we know not the kind of mind that possesses you. As the Creator has nothing to do with wrong so he will not come to rescue you from the precipice of destruction in which you have cast yourself. You shall never be restored to the position which you once occupied.”

            Then shall the War Chief address himself to the Lords of the Nation to which the deposed Lord belongs and say:

            “Know you, my Lords, that I have taken the deer’s antlers from the brow of ___________, the emblem of his position and token of his greatness.”

            The Lords of the Confederacy shall then have no other alternative than to sanction the discharge of the offending Lord.

          • Anonymous


          • Very true Brandon..I have called my fellow bloggers names like “wise”, “insightful”, “inspiring”,”hero”..

            I celebrate and name and hold up so many here who are doing good and valuable work through these blogs and in their communities by trying to make a genuine contribution to our common understanding of the issues we are exploring.

            My daddy taught me to always seek the truth and always speak the truth..and I try to do that..whatever that truth is..when people are behaving in way that does not serve life, does not serve earth, does not serve community I never hesitate for one minute to name that and hold it up for ridicule. I never ever allow anyone who is undermining the common good to have even the smallest courtesy or the slightest respect. I call out what I see. I name it.

            I do that not just to vent but because that is what serves life, that is what serves community, that is what serves the common good.

            Name and shun the scoundrels. Give them no place of welcome at the camp fire. Leave them standing with their shame exposed and scorned.

            Ever read the Constitution of the Iroquois Confederacy Brandon? it is one of the most beautifully poetic and wise documents on self governance in community that I have ever seen.


            see the full text below and note especially the language attending the complete banning of the offending person from all camaraderie” with the tribe.

            ” You shall now go your way alone, the rest of the people of the Confederacy will not go with you, for we know not the kind of mind that possesses you”

            They have a whole section on how to treat the scoundrels who abandon the common good for their own vanity or their own benefit.

          • Well Brandon, any one that wants to know the truth can find it easily enough. Its only people who stay lockedinto your little circular firing squad of mudslinging who will remain confused on the facts.

            Here is another supremely authoritative source on Pananama Canal imoacts and here is a quote from it pointing to the absurdity of the claims Vigue is making..no dount with guidance from David Cole:
            .” In addition, the canal expansion will not provide any benefits to shippers that are not already available today, so there will be no unfulfilled demand for East Coast ports to fulfill. For that reason, many ports that are relying on the canal expansion to generate astronomical post-2014 growth will be very disappointed. A look at this issue from both the shipper’s and the carrier’s point of view explains why.”
            You’ll have to actually do your homework and read the article to see what they have to say and do let me know if you find any difference at all with what I have said here..you see I always go the most authoritative inside sources ..not just ideologically driven blogs and reports that haven’t a clue about the real world..

            Let us know what you think about Vigue’s claims after you read this Brandon..and there are thousands more out there from equally high level insider sources all saying the same thing.


            looking forward to your findings from this fact based expedition Brandon.

          • Anonymous

            See above…

      • Briney

        Who wants a 220-mile ditch cut across Maine.  We’ll rant and continue to rant.  Le Page approved the $350,000 study.

    • Briney

      Thanks for your interesting and informative views.

      This “Eminent Domain” clause, which Le Page and Vigue claim will not be introduced to cut through homeowners and farming acres, is as puzzling as pledging $350,000 for yet another study in this decades – old issue.

      If Vigue and Le Page say “we won’t take your land by eminent domain,” how will they take it?  Unless they have a sky hook plan for an overhead highway, many people will lose their land and possibly their homes.

      There is no way this highway can be built across 220-miles of prize Maine land without disrupting the lives of dozens of residents and businesses, whilst violating the environment and destroying hundreds of acres of precious Maine land.

      What are  the alternatives?  Right of Way? Or, Easements?  These two terms have been proffered by proponents as alternatives?  By and large there’s not much difference than eminent domain.  

      It would be interesting to listen to Vigue explain just how such a highway can be built without taking people’s land. 

      • Anonymous

         The developers will buy the land from landowners, which I believe is why Vigue said at the Dover Foxcroft meeting that this road would increase the value of property owners’ land, not reduce it.

        • Anonymous

          I suppose it’s possible that every single property owner along the route of the proposed highway will be willing to sell their land for the right-of-way, but I doubt it.  If a property owner refuses to sell, what then?  Do we believe that one property owner who refuses to sell would be able to stop the project? Mr. Vigue has said that eminent domain won’t be used to take any property, so I’ll take him at his word until his statement is proven false.

          • Anonymous

            his word is not worth much anymore. He is keeping Cianbro at a distance on this project. It is his own private project he is doing for the canadians

        • If you own the land that is going to be the highway it surely will go up!

          If you abutt it it will surely go down!

          Have you ever lived 200 ft from a Major Interstate highway?

          The Noise and Vibration will rattle your Teeth!

      • Briney,

        I am a bit troubled by this diversion Sen. Thomas has created on eminent domain because he knows full well that eminent domain is part of the secret highway privatization statute (Title 23 Section 4251) that Cianbro and the asphalt lobby wrote for themselves and got passed in 2010 with no public notice and no public comment.

        Thomas knows that even if this constiutional amendment on eminent domain existed today under the privatization statute eminent domain would still exist via the statute for this project. Thomas is just trying to tread water to get through the elections.

        The only sure response is for all citizens in Maine to make repeal of the privatization a litmus test for re election.

        Anyone running for re election who does not first work for repeal of this stat, co-sponsor a move to repeal, should not be considered electable and those like Dennis Damon and Thomas who got it enacted should be really held to the fire on that basis.

        They have to do more than this to convince me there has been a change of heart or even a real protection against the use of eminent domain for this project.

  • It was my understanding that this was suppose to be a PRIVATE study. Why was the state even involved in this activity?

    • Anonymous

      Because a private study would immediately be presumed to be biased.

  • Anonymous

    So much for the state getting back the $300000 for the feasibility study. it appears the dot already has the money for the study.Pete must be looking for the last big score for the company before he retires.He donates a lot of campaign money to the lawmakers i wonder if that helps him????????????

  • Guest


  • Anonymous

    Silly to make an issue of a non-issue. Chris Cousins ought to find something useful to write about and the editors ought to use his time more productively. 

    • Anonymous

      He prolly got a decrease in pay, and is reporting accordingly.

      Word is that BDN finances are kinda shaky, if you know what I mean.

  • “We ran this by our legal team.” Dewey, Screwem & Howe?

    • Where was Cheatem?

      Must have been lunch time!

  • Thomas Czyz

    When MDOT Commissioner Bernhardt was appointed he promised improved efficiencies within the department. The bridge design for MDOT Project # 016750 has been in progress since 2000 (TWELVE YEARS), with multiple meetings, changes of designers from HNTB to CHA, different recommendations, multiple changes of project management; an incredible waste of time and taxpayer money.
    Adding insult to mismanagement the design will destroy the character of an incredibly beautiful New England town; South Bristol, Maine. It is over-designed and over-kill.  This design will devastate South Bristol’s tourist industry, impacting fishermen, handy-men, restaurant owners, boat yards, and B&Bs.
    Please take a look at http://southbristolbridge.org/, a picture is worth a thousand words. If so inclined please add your message to be sent to the Governor and MDOT.

  • Anonymous

    This whole thing is crooked as hell.

  • Anonymous

    Just a matter of time and it will be built….

  • Anonymous

    Nicely writtened story..  As written it is clearly apparent that it is Peter Vigue with some unknown investor  (Quebec and New Brunswick) who want to push this road through. So it seems Peter is working for the Canadian government on this project.. It was carefully stated in the article that it is a private project by Peter Vigue  who happens to be . CEO of Cianbro and Cianbro has nothing to do with the deal.

  • Anonymous

    Once upon a time someone wanted to have slots in Maine. So this company lobbied and worked hard to get people to vote yes on the project. It was done, all their hard work paid off and the people voted yes….. What happened next is they sold their rights to the slots to  hollywood slots. They made millons just getting it aproved in Maine.

    Now that is whats happening here, Peter Vigue is the front man for Canada and if it ever got approved Peter would walk away with millons while someone else bought the project from him even before it was built.

    Don’t be fooled

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