Letter: Now's time to rebuild Route 88 in Cumberland

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I write in support of the reconstruction of Route 88 in Cumberland.

Route 88 is used by motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians; its disrepair is well known by all these groups. Safety statistics do not tell the full story of the problems with Route 88. My wife was struck by a car while walking our dogs on the shoulder of the road. Fortunately, she did not require medical attention. As a result, however, this incident wasn’t officially recorded. Safety measurements also don’t capture the fact that many parents refuse to let their children bike or walk on the road out of fear that their children will become a statistic. Reconstruction will make Route 88 safer for all who use it and make it safe for all to use.

The question isn’t whether Route 88 needs to be reconstructed, it is when and at what cost. The state will not provide any funds for Route 88 until the town brings the road up to state standards. Deferral of this project will not only necessitate continued emergency repairs but could ultimately lead to the failure of the underlying concrete roadbed, which would dramatically increase the cost of reconstruction. The currently favorable interest rate and construction cost environments further support beginning the project now. Fixing the road now is the fiscally responsible choice.

I encourage my fellow Cumberland residents to vote in favor of the reconstruction of Route 88.

Joseph R. Crosby