East-West Corridor Project Update
2/20/2013 11:43 AM
First let me formally introduce myself, I’m Darryl Brown the Program Manager for the East West Corridor.
There are folks that have asked why I decided be a part of this project. First and foremost I’m a Mainer. I grew up on a small farm In Richmond, Maine, and grew an appreciation for Maine’s natural resources at a very early age. That appreciation grew into an education with degrees from the University of Maine in Soil Science and Agronomy. After spending two years teaching out of state I returned to Maine. I spent the next 40 years being the owner/operator of Main-Land Development Consultants, Inc., a firm specializing in land use issues and environmental permitting. I have a very deep love for Maine, our quality of life and quality of place is something to be very proud of.
More recently in 2010, I served as the Commissioner of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection as well as Director of the State Planning Office. In conjunction with my public service I sold my company in 2011. When I was offered the position of Program Manager for the East West Corridor, I saw it as an extraordinary opportunity, one that I couldn’t pass up.
Since joining the team in the summer of 2012, my role has been both challenging and very exciting.
After the large public meetings in the summer of 2012, it was clear to all of us on the project team that there are still many questions and concerns about the project that needed to be properly investigated and addressed. My main focus has been on two major aspects of the project.
FIRST: To carefully and methodically determine the routing of the corridor. Along with other members of the project team, we determine the route throughout Maine with emphasis on a simple theme of, “People come first!”. This means we have committed to have the least possible impact on individuals and their property. That commitment also includes being as environmentally conscious as possible. This effort to route the corridor is an on-going process. As we listen to suggestions from the public and gather other information it has an impact on the route itself. The project team gathers usually once a week to incorporate any new information and well as refining the current potential route.
SECOND: Outreach. I spend a considerable amount of time informing the citizens of Maine about the project and its implications for Maine and Maine’s economy. A great deal of time and resources are spent in those areas in which the highway will be passing through. However, the positive effect on all of Maine should not be underestimated. Consequently, a considerable allocation of my time is dedicated to both Aroostook County and southern Maine. As part of this process, I am actively engaged in developing a coalition of trade associations, organizations, businesses, municipalities, and individuals throughout Maine. Collectively we believe that this project is one of state-wide significance.
The proposed East-West Corridor is a project that I feel is long overdue. This project has the potential to positively transform not only Maine’s economic landscape for years to come, but also to set a new high watermark for environmental sensitivity and planning. It has been a fantastic start to my time here. I couldn’t be more pleased with the progress we’ve made, and I couldn’t be more excited about the challenges yet to come.
Please stay tuned for more periodic updates as we continue to develop this project!