Media Archive

Exit 10 north - highway to the future?

Article from The Piscataquis Observer, Vol. 165, No. 51, December 17, 2003

By N. Laurence Wiley, Jr.

Northeastern Maine could act as a major catalyst for economic revival

Many believe that the concept of two Maines (or five Maines if you will), constitutes a huge impediment to growth and development in Northeastern Maine. They say that anything north of Exit 10 on the Maine Turnpike is unworthy of their attention it is a highway to nowhere. They say there is nothing up there deserving of their efforts or investments. While I admit that Northeastern Maine lacks comprehensive leadership, I do believe that the region is a very attractive location for living, working and investing. Contrary to the pundits and "experts," Northeastern Maine could act as a major catalyst in our state for an economic revival.

Northeastern Maine, which encompasses nearly all of the Second Congressional District, requires strong leadership in Congress. Our representatives must possess the necessary education, experience and ability to deal with the complexities facing Maine and our nation both domestically and internationally. Our Congressman needs to provide leadership for Northeastern Maine by bringing diverse groups and experiences together, not dividing us further.

We need to face the decline of our timber resources and the resultant impact on our forestry industry. Immediate action must be taken to prevent Northeastern Maine from becoming a huge park for the wealthy, left-wing environmentalists, bent on destroying Maine, relegating our citizens to "servants" for their ilk.

We need a plan to complete a north-south highway, connecting the St. Lawrence Seaway to Sears Island. We need reasonable upgrading of Route 9, Route 2, and significant improvements to Route 1-A from Bangor to Ellsworth, all to permit an adequate highway infrastructure for business and travel.

We need a proper tax and regulatory environment to attract good businesses to Northeastern Maine, along with the jobs they will create. Our fishing and forestry industries need greater flexibility and support.

We need better communications with our Canadian neighbors as we participate in the growth of the "Atlantic Northeast".

I say to those who find Northeastern Maine unattractive, you are wrong. The region is ready, we just need leadership. I say Exit 10 - North could be the highway of the future.

N. Laurence Willey, Jr. of Bangor is the city's former mayor and has served as Maine's representative to Canada from the governor's office.

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.