Longtime Holden residents Stephan and Victoria Lee own more than 70 mostly wooded acres behind their scrap metal business, Lakeman and Sons, on Levenseller Road. They have a cabin they use during the warmer months and snowmobile paths carved out among the trees.
On a chilly afternoon last week, one of the Lees’ employees zipped through the trees with his son on the back of his snowmobile. Stephan Lee trailed behind in his red truck along a snowy path he had cleared that morning.
He pulled up next to a bright pink and blue ribbon on a wooden stake in his property, which the Maine Department of Transportation put there in the past year.
“We won’t be able to access any of this anymore,” Lee said. “The sentimental value of this land is priceless to me and my wife.”
For the past year, Lee has been living in fear that the state will soon claim his land for a controversial, $80 million infrastructure project that would extend I-395 from its current end near the Brewer-Holden town line about 6 miles northeast to connect it with Route 9.