EDDINGTON, Maine — When selectmen got to the agenda item Tuesday about a resolve opposing the state’s preferred route for the planned Interstate 395-Route 9 connector road, the discussion led to a completely different decision — to support the state-selected route.
“I had it written up as ‘does not support 2B2,’ and they decided that they would sign a resolve in support of 2B2,” Town Manager Russell Smith said Wednesday, referring to the state’s name for the route.
The vote at Tuesday’s meeting was 3-2, with Peter Lyford, Mike Shepherd and Charles Baker Jr. supporting the move and Chairwoman Joan Brooks and vice chairman Charles “Chip” Grover voting in opposition.
Lyford, who lives on Route 46, led the discussion in support of 2B2.
State transportation officials have been studying a Brewer-Holden-Eddington connector since before 2000 that would be designed to ease heavy truck traffic driving from the Canadian Maritimes toward the federal highway system.
The state initially selected a different route but environmental issues spurred a change at the end of 2012 to the 2B2 route, which upset community leaders in Eddington, Brewer and Holden who were not kept informed about the decision by state officials.
The preferred route would extend I-395 at its Wilson Street junction and would roughly follow the Holden-Brewer line until entering Eddington and connecting with 4.5 miles of rebuilt Route 9.
The Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration also are officially considering two other alternatives — 5A2B2 and 5B2B2 — which are similar to 2B2.
Maine Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration in January released a final version of their environmental impact statement that states the new roadway would have minimal effects on the surrounding environment.
And just last week, the Legislature’s transportation committee voted 8-1 to throw out a bill submitted by Rep. Arthur “Archie” Verow, D-Brewer, to prevent the state from pursuing the construction of the controversial road.
The Eddington town manager said he was surprised by the change made by town selectmen.