BAR HARBOR — State Sen. Dennis Damon, a Hancock County Democrat, had plenty of sympathy with the town council here Tuesday regarding the deplorable conditions of the area’s state highways, but said no easy solution to the problem is in sight.
Mr. Damon, who is chairman of the Senate’s transportation committee, said that, as a popular tourist destination, Bar Harbor is a substantial revenue source for the state. However, for reasons he doesn’t quite understand, getting the Department of Transportation to maintain crumbling sections of Route 3 continues to be an elusive venture.
“To have what appears to be a slight [toward the town]…just shouldn’t be,” he said. “The road coming into town is terrible. Why we can’t get it fixed, I cannot say.”
Much of what the DOT is undertaking locally, such as the reconstruction of the intersection of Route 3 and Route 102/198 at the head of Mount Desert Island and the construction of the multi-million dollar Acadia Gateway Center in Trenton, is being funded with federal money, Mr. Damon said, and the money comes with strings attached. He agreed that building new projects without maintaining current roads would only compound problems in the long run, but said the matter was largely out of his hands.