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HALLOWELL, MAINE - With the spring just around the corner it's time for another partnership between the United States and Canada. The first scenic turnout in the southern half of the international corridor between Maine and Quebec will be built next spring along U.S. Route 201 and could cost up to $250,000. Bret Poi, landscape architect with the Maine Department of Transportation and project manager for the Kennebec-Chaudiere International Heritage Corridor, said a combination of state and federal funds will pay for the project. The turnout is to be constructed next to the Hallowell Public Works building. "There have already been a few challenges up to date with flood and sight distance issues," said Poi. "The Department of Transportation already owns the informal turnout. But for the most part, it's been smooth sailing to date." The corridor recognizes the strong cultural and historical links between Quebec and Maine, Poi said. Some existing sites in the southern end of the corridor include the L.C. Bates Museum at Goodwill-Hinckley School, Old Fort Western in Augusta, Pownalborough Courthouse in Dresden and Colburn House in Pittston. Three interpretative panels have been drafted so far and will have both English and French text. Poi said site construction should start in the spring with the signs completed this fall. "We've coordinated route marker signs for consistency in color," said Poi. "The group in Quebec has reviewed the signs for the French translation, although the Canadian DOT hasn't been involved in this project." Poi said plans are in place for rest area development and geological and cultural information signs along the northern section of the corridor from Solon to Quebec City -- the Old Canada Road National Scenic Byway. Much of the corridor in Maine runs along U.S. Route 201. Quebec has focused more on promotion and not so much on educating the public, said Poi. Maine's non-profit group for the Kennebec-Chaudiere International Heritage Corridor has focused on education, as most of the infrastructure is ready to go.

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December 6, 2019, 1:51 pm PDT

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