To the Editor:
The good news about the work of the late Wiscasset By-Pass Task Force is that it helped to nudge the Maine Dept of Transportation to implement alternatives to the By-Pass. These alternatives include the message alert system on Rt. 295 in Brunswick during congested hours to advise northbound motorists to take other routes.
Unfortunately, the Task Force failed to push the DOT toward other alternatives, including a bridge or tunnel for pedestrians across Rt. 1 in the area of “Red’s Eats”. It also failed to honestly address the future of the Davey Bridge, which will be doomed if a new bridge is constructed up the Sheepscot River. Also doomed when the Davey Bridge is discontinued will be businesses in Wiscasset that rely upon Rt. 1 traffic.
It would be an ironic twist to the adage of the Vietnam war; destroying a village in order to save it. Here, the DOT seems intent on saving downtown Wiscasset now in order to destroy it later.
Instead of a By-Pass, there must be a win-win solution to speed up the traffic through the downtown while enhancing its “downtownness”. Such a win-win solution may include some degree of “cut-and-cover” with bridges for cross-town traffic and appropriate landscaping.
Spending $100 million to cut a several mile long swath through northern Wiscasset with a new bridge would be a disaster for Wiscasset and the environment, and a monument to obsolete highway engineering.
Morrison Bonpasse, Newcastle