It was suit and tie versus jeans and work shirts Tuesday at the Penobscot County Courthouse as Peter Vigue, of Cianbro Corporation, presented his East West Highway Project, and Maine citizens made comments and asked questions.
Mr Vigue has a power point sales pitch worked up, and he doesn’t stray far from his script. He sets up his presentation with statistics on Maine’s poor economic ranking compared to the rest of the nation. Last or near to last in many categories relating to business climate, and the state’s ability to attract investments. Interestingly, he reports Maine ranks 17 in quality of life assessment. Might it be there is an inverse relationship between Quality of Life and proximity to and quantity of highways? No one asked that question.
After informing the audience about Maine’s poverty and grim economic outlook, Mr. Vigue makes the claim that his EW Highway Corridor will attract investment to Maine,provide jobs, and all around improve Maine’s economic outlook. I submit Mr. Vigue’s vision is blurred by Cianbro colored glasses.
Mr. Vigue has obviously led Cianbro during a very successful time in that company’s history. He has a lot to be proud of, and on Tuesday he let the audience know more than once how much Cianbro has done for the state of Maine.
The state of Maine, however, is not Mr. Vigue’s sandbox, and citizens stood up and let him know that in no uncertain terms. The notion that a 500 foot highway designed for high speed tandem trailer truck traffic traversing Maine’s heartland is going to be good for Maine people is simply nonsense. This highway is about a consortium of unnamed corporations and unnamed foreign countries wanting efficient overland transportation between natural resources and markets. For such a great idea, the veils of secrecy and lack of truth implicit in this project are laughable and pathetic. Sorry, but Mr. Vigue’s plans, Cianbro Corporation, and it’s corporate honchos, are not the answer to Maine’s economic problems.