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Voters Halt Turnpike Widening

November 6, 1991

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ Voters have overwhelmingly ratified a referendum halting a planned $100 million widening of the Maine Turnpike and setting a new transportation policy stressing alternatives to new roads and bridges.

Unofficial returns from 611, or 92 percent, of the 661 precincts showed the proposal winning 59 percent of the vote on Tuesday.

″A big victory for the people of Maine,″ Alan Caron of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation said. ″I think our children are going to thank us for it.″

Spokesmen for the coalition of business and industrial interests that waged a million-dollar campaign against the proposal blamed their loss on voter disenchantment with state government.

″We didn’t get beat on the issues, we got beat because of state government’s problems,″ said Bob Deis of the Vote NO on 1 Coalition said.

Gov. John R. McKernan, who had campaigned against the referendum proposal, said the results reflected general concern about the poor economy.