The viewpoint expressed by Michael Shaw in the Nov. 14 Telegram (“Another View: Maine highway bond deserved more voter scrutiny”) included some thoughtful opinions, but I believe Mr. Shaw missed a crucial underlying point: namely, the danger of continuing to defer necessary maintenance on Maine’s roads and bridges.

Continually deferring needed maintenance increases the possibility of unsafe driving conditions and the risk of serious injury or death to users of the state’s roadways and bridges. Maine is not unique in this practice. The recent passage of the first inclusive infrastructure bill in Congress caps a lengthy period of denying even consideration of such legislation over several decades.

In that period of political infighting, infrastructure in this country has deteriorated, and the costs to repair or replace failing aspects have increased proportionately far more than the costs would have been if the work had occurred incrementally over that same period of time. It is truly shortsighted for legislative leaders to castigate their party members who voted in favor of the infrastructure bill that returns tax dollars back to the states that need that additional funding to complete projects that have long been delayed.

Mr. Shaw’s premise that more should be done to ameliorate climate change is commendable, but until agreement is reached in Congress on whether and how to effectively combat such advancing change, and actually take steps to implement meaningful changes, there remains an immediate need to replace maintenance band aids with real action to preserve neglected infrastructure for the current needs of the country.

Warner Price

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