Madawaska street at new port of entry gets local name

9 months ago

MADAWASKA, Maine — A street that runs through Madawaska’s new land port of entry will be named Four Corners Crossing. 

The name is inspired by Four Corners Park, which is based on Madawaska’s place in the Southern California Motorcycle Association’s USA Four Corners Tour, a 7,000-mile ride that hits four municipalities on each corner of the country — San Ysidro, California; Blaine, Washington; Key West, Florida; and Madawaska. 

The $71.7 million port-of-entry project is expected to be finished by the end of the year, according to the General Services Administration. A $97 million bridge connecting Madawaska to the Canadian city of Edmundston is also being built in conjunction with the port-of-entry project. Naming the new street is one of the details necessary as the project nears completion.

“The Four Corners Crossing will forever appear on every road map, which invariably will promote the Four Corners Park, the community of Madawaska and this northeast region as a must-do, bucket-list tourist destination,” said Madawaska Town Manager Gary Picard in a Thursday press release.

The bridge currently connecting Madawaska to Canada has had a 5-ton weight limit on it since 2017 due to safety concerns. Because of this, large trucks headed from Canada to Madawaska have to cross at the next closest border entry in either Fort Kent or Van Buren. Once completed, the new bridge will save truckers a significant amount of time and money.

The General Services Administration reached out to Madawaska residents in March for help naming the new street and received about 80 responses. The GSA had sent notices to local newspapers and shared information on its website as well as on Madawaska’s Facebook page to seek residents’ opinions on the name, according to Paul Hughes, regional public affairs officer for the New England Region of the GSA.

A total of 54 responses met the criteria, which included prohibitions for naming the street after someone deceased within the last five years, an event that happened fewer than 25 years ago, or anything that caters to a specific group, religion or political interest. 

Hughes said the administration received three responses that included “Four Corners,” and in July a panel consisting of officials from the GSA, the U.S. Postal Service, U.S. Customs & Border Protection and the town of Madawaska determined that Four Corners Crossing would be the new name. 

The three residents who chose the winning name were invited to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the bridge next spring. 

“With ‘Four Corners’ being a huge part of our communities’ economics and traditions, we couldn’t ask for a better fit, as most people identify our facility as a border crossing,” said Scott Cyr, U.S. Customs & Border Protection port director.

Some businesses, including Paradis’ Shop ‘n Save, are already seeing economic benefits from the project, as it brought more people into the community to work on it.

“The traffic flow has increased,” said store owner Denis Paradis. “So, it’s already doing well.”

Paradis also owns a Shop ‘n Save store in Fort Kent, and said the new bridge with a higher weight limit would mean that trucks wouldn’t always be crossing at the Fort Kent port of entry.

“It’s going to be a lot busier, and I would hope that it would help for all the loggers, too,” he said. “As they do better, everybody does better, and eventually the whole economy does better.”