New use for old bridge

I would like to recommend that the Frank J. Wood Bridge spanning the Androscoggin River between Brunswick and Topsham be converted from vehicle to pedestrian use after the construction of the new bridge upstream of the Frank J. Wood Bridge – in the same spirit as another mode of transportation has been successfully transformed in the past few decades – from trains to pedestrians use – by the “Rails-To-Trails” movement.

Money designated for demolition of the Frank J. Wood Bridge could be used to clean up the bridge and establish a fund for future maintenance of the bridge for pedestrians. Benefits are potential cost savings of demolition and the preserving of a longstanding bridge offering views of the river and historic structures in both Brunswick and Topsham.

Maintaining the Frank J. Wood Bridge would allow for pedestrians and cyclists to travel free from vehicles between Brunswick and Topsham. Keeping the Frank J. Wood Bridge for pedestrians and cyclists should not require any major structural repair.

At the April 5th, 2017 Maine DOT public meeting in Brunswick, a multipage pictorial handout was distributed that appears to show that access to the Frank J. Wood Bridge could be preserved for pedestrians and cyclists once the new upstream bridge is in place.

In addition to pedestrian and cycling use, with proper design, the Frank J. Wood Bridge can take on a park-like setting with the installation of benches and tables to be utilized by people who just want to enjoy a walk out onto the bridge for the views or sit and relax.

One question is who would take possession (ownership) of the Frank J. Wood Bridge if it were to be maintained for pedestrians, cyclists and used as a “park”. Having an endowment to maintain the bridge from funds designated for demolition would go a long way toward a successful long-term management plan by the municipalities (Brunswick and Topsham) or a not-for-profit organization.

Bill Good, Jr.

Brunswick


Oyster farm will be a blight on bay

I find it curious that Brunswick is so environmentally conscious that it bans plastic shopping bags and then stands idly by while a couple of guys create a 40-acre blight on Maquoit Bay. I am referring to the thousands of black plastic pontoons for the floating oyster factory that will make these waters look more like a landfill than coastal Maine. The town council has strangely deferred on protecting the bay and is refusing to intervene with the state with even the most meager of protest! Our council needs to address these concerns.

Why use our bay as a guinea pig in the guise of “sustainable” business? Because it has worked so well in the past with whaling, cod and Atlantic Salmon? And now, after spending hundreds of millions cleaning up Casco Bay, the applicants want to befoul it with 40 acres of plastic. When did we take our eye off the ball to even consider this insanity! We talk tough about the type of planet we want to pass on to our children, and then we place our minds in neutral. It is time we put away arrogance in favor of stewardship! Maquoit Bay is not owned by Maine, Brunswick, shoreland property owners, the Department of Marine Resources or an oyster factory! We are merely stewards of a marine balance created after many thousands of years of nature’s handiwork. Don’t we want to do our best? Don’t we want to protect the woods and waters of Maine? I want the heritage and sustained beauty of this incredible bay to be our legacy. How about you?

Mark Wyman,

Brunswick


Vote Vitelli

Sagadahoc County and Dresden children and families are fortunate indeed to have Eloise Vitelli representing them in the state Senate in Augusta. Once a Head Start teacher, she was an early supporter of RSU1’s PreK program, C.H.O.I.C.E.S. and then went on to advocate for the expansion of public pre-K statewide. She helped pass a $162 million increase in public education funding and sponsored a bill to protect students from predatory lenders.

It is important to have a senator like Eloise who understands the needs of Maine families to prepare for jobs. She has worked to expand adult workforce training programs and helped Mainers start their own small businesses.

Please join me in voting to send Eloise back to the Senate to continue her great work on our behalf!

Margaret Leitch Copeland,

Bath