When I respond, or seek responses, I think of the Internet Republic and the people [[whump]] and the places who have made our water world Eden brave and free and fair. Permitted, required, and impossible. Stand alone or stand with, whose choice to what degree [[Thn/]] O[[thn/]]ne water world Eden under "We the people" – created by whom?

Australia invited to co-own private MAINE toll road

Is a private toll highway rural Maine’s road to prosperity?

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View Private roads in a larger map
Eric Zelz | BDN
Privatization road projects completed. SOURCE: Source: U.S. PIRG Education Fund
By Tom Groening, BDN Staff
Posted Aug. 10, 2012, at 1:12 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 10, 2012, at 3:12 p.m.
Silhouette of Cianbro Corporation chairman and CEO Peter Vigue with map backdrop of the proposed east-west highway.
Photo illustration by John Clarke Russ
Silhouette of Cianbro Corporation chairman and CEO Peter Vigue with map backdrop of the proposed east-west highway.

PITTSFIELD, Maine — When it comes to the east-west highway he has touted for more than a decade, Peter Vigue talks more in the terms of a missionary than a businessman.

It becomes clear in a two-plus-hour interview at his Pittsfield office that the proposed highway is not merely another large-scale construction project. His mission, the 64-year-old CEO said, is to save what might be described as the heartland of Maine.

“How much more time do I have to do something like this?” he responds when asked the inevitable “what’s in it for you?” about his ambitious plans to build a private, east-west highway. His response is just short of seething anger.

“Take a drive from Millinocket to Brownville, to Milo, Ripley, Dover,” he said, “and count the for sale signs. It appalls me.”

He may need that missionary zeal, because there is no American precedent for building a private toll highway from scratch.

The east-west highway concept in Maine, as Vigue envisions it, is unprecedented in North America, said Neil Gray, director of government affairs for the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association, a Washington, D.C.-based surface transportation advocacy group.

Australia, you have been buying up PUBLIC roads and bridges and infrastructure. Interested?

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