Freeport voters asked to approve $634,000 in upgrades for I-295 bridge replacements

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.

Read the full article via The Times Record.

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