Turnpike Authority Plans New $12.8 million Headquarters

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Turnpike Authority Plans New $12.8 million Headquarters

PORTLAND, Maine -- The Maine Turnpike Authority hopes to begin work next summer on its new $12.8 million headquarters next to the Portland Jetport interchange.

Turnpike offices are now spread among three buildings off Riverside Street in Portland and in a fourth building off the turnpike. The plan is to consolidate operations in a new building that would improve efficiency, save money on rent and provide better public access.

[url=http://www.wmtw.com/news/10544532/detail.html]source[/url]

Bob MacGregor
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Turnpike Authority Plans New $12.8 million Headquarters

When I saw this earlier today, my first thought was "palace".

How about a nice steel package building off the shelf?

Anonymous
Turnpike Authority Plans New $12.8 million Headquarters

Their example of reigning in spending.

Roger Ek
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Turnpike Authority Plans New $12.8 million Headquarters

Is there any other 103 mile stretch of road in Maine that has a "headquarters"?

EJ
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Turnpike Authority Plans New $12.8 million Headquarters

This is gov gone wild.

Save money? What? Do they have any idea of return on investment?

How much are they spending to rent the buildings they currently use?

They have a cool old farm I drive past, that would be a nice place to live, if it did not have only one way in and out.

EJ

Anonymous
Turnpike Authority Plans New $12.8 million Headquarters
Naran
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Turnpike Authority Plans New $12.8 million Headquarters

I guess they have to get rid of that excess toll money somehow - here we go again. New rest areas, new tollbooths, now it's a new headquarters [i]Taj Mahal.[/i]

Meanwhile, the DOT is slowly starving to death, and Maine's other roads look like hell.

Stavros Mendros
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Turnpike Authority Plans New $12.8 million Headquarters

But they need the high tolls so they can properly wine and dine the Transportation committee. Fund their re-election campaigns and even employ them if necessary.

mediadog
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Turnpike Authority Plans New $12.8 million Headquarters

Wasn't the Maine Turnpike Authority supposed to go out of business once the Turnpike was paid for? That was the pitch made in the late 1940s when the authority was established.

Over the years lengthening and widening projects have kept injecting new life into this once temporary authority and have made it an integral part of the state bureaucracy. Now, predictably, it needs new posh quarters for its growing bevy of bureaucrats. This is a textbook example of how bureaucracies grow and flourish at the expense of the taxpayers or, in this case, the tollpayers.

Dennis
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Turnpike Authority Plans New $12.8 million Headquarters

I have generally considered the MTA's efforts to be O.K. After all, the widening projects improved rest areas etc. do provide benefit to the people who pay the bills--the 'Pike's users. If the project in question is a Tajmahal (sp??) then I think the time has come to rein the MTA in. By the way, how many employees do they have that are [b]not [/b]collecting tolls, plowing snow etc.? By the way, I do not suppor the idea of bleeding off toll revenues for DOT or any other entity. If there are excess revenues tolls should be reduced.

Doug Thomas
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Turnpike Authority Plans New $12.8 million Headquarters

They've been drinking too much of that $250 a bottle wine.

Dan Billings
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Turnpike Authority Plans New $12.8 million Headquarters

It could be worse -- they could be spending as much as we do on building schools!

bonger
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General Fund???

Doesn't any excess revenue collected get turned over to the state's General Fund. As I recall, this is why the esteemed Governor Brennan decided to keep the Authority when its original mission was accomplished in 1982?

I think it is time to abolish the TPA and pay for the Turnpike like we do with most other roads in this state. Another suggestion would to remove the 8 mile stretch between Augusta and Gardiner from the TPA control.

I'll tell you, I avoid taking toll highway like the plague, except for the 8 mile stretch between Gardiner and Augusta, I would't probably only rarely use it and that would to only go south of Portland which is rare....

Dan Billings
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Re: General Fund???

[quote="bonger"]Doesn't any excess revenue collected get turned over to the state's General Fund. [/quote]

No. The Authority pays the DOT an amount annually to support feeder roads. The state has robbed the authority of funds from time to time in the past. The current high bonded debt of the authority makes such raids hard at this time.

I like tolls. They are user fees. Having them go to an authority makes them less likely to be stolen than gas tax revenue.

bonger
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Turnpike Authority Plans New $12.8 million Headquarters

Okay, not directly the General Fund, but.... according to the MTA website
[url=http://www.maineturnpike.com/html/about/history.html]source[/url]

[quote]In 1991 the passage by referendum of the Sensible Transportation Policy Act eliminated the laws which allowed for the widening of the Turnpike and the establishment of these funds. The Sensible Transportation Policy Act requires that all surplus funds not used for operation and maintenance of the Turnpike be turned over to the MDOT.[/quote]

So in effect , when the MTA doesn't owe money for its bonds, maintainance, and operations, it's surplus is turned over to the MDOT. I realize that the Highway Fund is a separate fund then the General Fund, but can't the legislature raid that just as you state in your post? To me this in effect is robbing Peter to pay Paul. But I do understand that when the MTA owes money the legislature has a harder time raiding the Highway Fund....

Dan Billings
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Turnpike Authority Plans New $12.8 million Headquarters

The MTA makes it harder for the Legislature to steal revenue. Not impossible, but harder.

mediadog
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Turnpike Authority Plans New $12.8 million Headquarters

[quote="Bob MacGregor"]When I saw this earlier today, my first thought was "palace".

How about a nice steel package building off the shelf?[/quote]

Bob has a sound idea. Those steel buildings are very adequate and come a lot cheaper, I bet, than anything the MTA has in mind. If they really need new quarters, this is the way to go. Also, what about the location near the airport? Their proposed site appears to be in the high rent district. Couldn't they find less valuable land a few miles north or south along the 'pike?

I remember Naran's proposal to buy an off-the-shelf building for a fire station in Kennebunk. A very sensible idea. Imagine the savings if all new fire stations in the state used the same basic structure. The same goes for schools as well. Having three or four basic designs could result in huge savings, not only in architects' fees but in construction costs. Each new school proposed today seems to incorporate more and more bells and whistles that have only a marginal influence on learning but a huge impact on taxpayers.

Bruce Libby
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Turnpike Authority Plans New $12.8 million Headquarters

I am completely in favor of doing away with pike.
I believe it should be returned to natural origins.

I believe all those roads that will be used instead through various communities
will become problems.

What I don't believe in is paying higher gas taxes to pay for fixing the problems
caused by any change to pike.

As always don't use it if you don't like it. This is a fairly reasonable proposal
that will return revenue generating property to tax rolls of Portland.

Bob MacGregor
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Turnpike Authority Plans New $12.8 million Headquarters

It's not the fact that they want to build a new HQ, it's the level of posh they are likely to shoot for. How would I, as a disgruntled citizen, start a campaign to ensure they build a practical building without spending a fortune?

Since this new facility will do nothing to raise revenue for them, why overdo it?

Naran
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Turnpike Authority Plans New $12.8 million Headquarters

Bob - you can never go wrong with letters to the editor. As many papers as possible, as often as they'll print them, until the design process is decided and the bids put out. That's the only way to get any sort of influence on the issue, from my own experience. Keep the public aware. It takes a lot of work, but it can be successful.

In the meantime - Governor Baldacci, are you listening? Your new administration has promised to make tax relief the number one priority in Maine. Here's your chance to make that a reality - ensure that if the MTA does build this new facility, that they make it a steel building, something utilitarian, and it will go a long ways toward the beginning of redemption in the eyes of fiscal conservatives.

Chairman
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Turnpike Authority Plans New $12.8 million Headquarters

And to add a little salt to the wound....Don't forget the 1% for 'art' program on new state buildings and renovations. So toss in another $128,000 of [i]our[/i] money flushed away on a couple of 2 x 4's and a dab of paint that any monkey could apply and call it (with a straight face) 'art'. What a concept! :evil:

Naran
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Turnpike Authority Plans New $12.8 million Headquarters

[quote][b]Turnpike board seeks bids to build office near airport[/b]
[i]The [u]$13.5 million project [/u]will consolidate operations now housed in four buildings.[/i]

By TESS NACELEWICZ, Staff Writer June 30, 2007

The Maine Turnpike Authority is about to seek bids for
construction of its new administrative headquarters on land next
to the Portland International Jetport interchange.

The authority's board of directors voted Friday to advertise the
contract for the new building, which will also house the
turnpike's public safety functions. [/quote]

[url=http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/story.php?id=117872&ac=PHnws]It's Gone Up Another Million Dollars - What the Heck, Right? :roll:[/url]

Naran
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Turnpike Authority Plans New $12.8 million Headquarters

Hey, Chairman - how about a swell mural or three of some Weimeraners, peeing on hydrants?
:lol:

Northarrow
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Turnpike Authority Plans New $12.8 million Headquarters

[quote="Naran"]... peeing on hydrants?
:lol:[/quote]

I beg your pardon. :wink:

Naran
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Turnpike Authority Plans New $12.8 million Headquarters

Well, gosh, Northarrow - that is what dogs do, isn't it? I mean, don't we seek to give a "Sense of Place" to all our friends, whether animal, or human? Don't we all wish to be INCLUSIVE?
:D

Bruce Libby
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Turnpike Authority Plans New $12.8 million Headquarters

New head quarters is going to be on exsisting land.
Note limitation on height due to airport.

Jim Corr
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Madness!

Lease out the turnpike and let the contracted company build their own headquarters if they want to. This is aboslute arrogance on the part of government! Nero continues to fiddle as Rome burns! :evil:

Steven Scharf
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Turnpike Authority Plans New $12.8 million Headquarters

They are bulding this as a homage to the car with very little considetion to pedestrian bicylce or transit option. They have already gotten a waiver to not build a sidewalk adjoining part of their property and they are trying to avoid the alternative that the planning board has requested of them. To make a path that they are putting in public rather than private.

If you want to work there you will need to own a car.

Steven Scharf
SCSMedia@aol.com

Dan Billings
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Turnpike Authority Plans New $12.8 million Headquarters

That makes sense if you consider the business that they are in.

That whole area is hardly pedestrian friendly.

By the way -- is Portland ever going to put sidewalks on the Franklin Arterial. I was through there a few times this week and noticed lots of people walking on dirt paths. Weird in the middle of the city.

Bruce Libby
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Turnpike Authority Plans New $12.8 million Headquarters

Yes we should pay for more bike paths, sidewalks for people to walk
off from in front of cars and bus lines to no where!

The authority was very considerate of all these alternatives
that is why I drove on a unsafe crowed TPike for ten years longer!

Steven Scharf
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Turnpike Authority Plans New $12.8 million Headquarters

There is an ongoing discussion of what to do with the Franklin Arterial to correct the problem created by Tom Allen's father in the 60s. There is consensus building to reconnect east and west part of the pennisula.

I and others have suggested burying the road and building on top of it. The property would generate the income to pay for the cost of burying it.

Your seeing people transvere it. Sidewalks along side would not help that issue.

Steven Scharf
SCSMedia@aol.com

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