In order to determine how to best invest in Maine’s passenger and freight rail infrastructure over the next ten years, the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) is developing the Maine State Rail Plan, an analysis into the state rail system’s strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. An upcoming October 6 public meeting in Presque Isle will allow northern Maine residents to help with the analysis by providing their thoughts two important questions:
- What are the most pressing statewide and regional rail issues and barriers over the next five to ten years;
- and what criteria should Maine use to prioritize rail investments?
The public meeting will take place at the University of Maine at Presque Ilse in the St. John Room on Tuesday, October 6 from 6-8 pm.
The State Rail Plan is scheduled to be completed early in 2010.
In addition to soliciting information from the public, MaineDOT is working with a 30-member Technical Advisory Committee to gather information on current infrastructure needs and identify trends and opportunities. A study website is linked to the MaineDOT home page and can also be found by going directly to www.maine.gov/mdot/railplan/index.htm. The public can provide any comments directly via the web site. As study data is gathered, it will be posted on the site, giving the public ongoing information into the study process and findings.
In addition to hearing from stakeholders, Nate Moulton, MaineDOT Rail Plan Project Manager, sees development of the plan as a way to provide insight into the challenge of making transportation decisions.
“We know that today’s economy means making difficult decisions and trade-offs,” he said. “Funding for maintaining and operating an efficient passenger and freight rail system is very complex, and this study will be a great way to make this aspect of transportation planning part of the public dialogue.”
Questions regarding the meetings may be directed to Carol Morris, Study Public Outreach, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-329-6502.
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