Maine businesses speak out against highway plan

Small Maine businesses that are worried that a proposed east-west highway would siphon away cross-state traffic are taking a stand in support of six bills aimed at slowing down or killing the project. The Transportation Committee took testimony Tuesday on the bills, which include measures to repeal a law calling for a feasibility study on the highway and to bar use of public funds for a private transportation study. Before the hearing, a list of 125 businesses that oppose the highway out of concern that it would take away business was presented. Plans call for a 220-mile toll highway between Calais and Coburn Gore, which would provide a direct route across the state for Maine and Canadian truckers.