FREEPORT — Freeport voters will decide next month whether to spend $634,000 to add bike and pedestrian paths on a pair of I-295 overpasses.
The Mallett Drive and Desert Road bridges will be replaced after the Maine Department of Transportation deemed them structurally deficient. The state would cover the cost of the $15 million bridge replacement.
Taxpayers would have to fund the proposed 12-foot-wide multi-use paths with 32-inch-tall barriers if they want those included in the project. That would be paid for through a 10-year bond, amounting to a $14 property tax increase for a Freeport home valued at $350,000, according to Connect Freeport, an advocacy group that works to make the town more bike- and pedestrian-friendly.
The referendum is also supported by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, a Portland-based non-profit that advocates for improved bicycle and pedestrian accessibility.
“That infrastructure is what makes people feel comfortable on the roads,” the coalition’s Angela King said.