Down East 2013 ©
Gov. Paul LePage and the Department of Transportation have suspended the Gateway 1 transportation initiative aimed at guiding development along Route 1 in midcoast Maine.
Municipal representatives on the Gateway 1 committee received a letter from DOT Commissioner David Bernhardt telling them the decision to suspend the planning process was effective immediately.
MDOT launched the Gateway 1 initiative six years ago along with planning groups representing 20 towns along Route 1 between Brunswick and Stockton Springs. The initiative called for the development of a regional land use and transportation plan that would preserve the region's rural character and also allow for coordinated growth.
In the letter, Bernhardt says he and Gov. LePage have "come to the conclusion that while Gateway 1 has been a very worthy effort, it does not correspond with the immediate priorities of this administration."
"I recognize that this decision may have impacts on long-term planning efforts in the Route 1 corridor," the letter continues. "However, given the significant and growing fiscal constraints under which we are operating, our top priority must be to focus our time and scarce resources on existing short-term critical infrastructure needs -- roads and bridges primarily -- to the greatest extent possible."
Read more at the Camden Herald Gazette. 
Read Commissioner Bernardt's letter at the Town of Thomaston Web site.