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Huge Northern Maine Dam Proposal Fell 30 Years Ago
02/25/2013 9:00 AM ET  

Congress authorized the project known as Dickey-Lincoln in 1965 at a cost of $219 millio, but mounting opposition finally killed in several years later.

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ It was three decades ago this year that a massive hydroelectric project along northern Maine's scenic and wild St. John River was abandoned after a prolonged fight by opponents, cost overruns and erosion of support from the state's congressional delegation.

Congress authorized the project known as Dickey-Lincoln in 1965 at a cost of $219 million. But through the years, its cost escalated, eventually reaching more than $900 million by the early 1980s. That covered two power dams and transmission lines from them.

With elected officials' support fraying and environmentalists and sporting enthusiasts battling the project, it was scaled back to a $175 million venture called Lincoln School.

But finally, in 1984, then-Sen. George Mitchell said he could no longer "in good conscience'' support even Lincoln School. The project was shelved.

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