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March 7, 2018

Three ‘deficient’ bridges in Piscataquis and Penobscot counties to be replaced

Three "structurally deficient" bridges in Piscataquis and Penobscot counties are scheduled to be replaced, thanks to $10.8 million in TIGER grant funding the Maine Department of Transportation will receive from the federal government.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, chairman of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, announced the award on Tuesday.

"Local residents rely on these bridges, which connect them with adjacent communities and provide critical transportation links for loggers and visitors as well," Collins said in a news release. "This project will improve public safety and help to create and support jobs in rural Maine."

The three bridges that will be replaced under MDOT's "Penquis Region Rural Bridges Project" are:

  • Mattawamkeag Bridge (Town of Mattawamkeag): On Maine Route 2 over the Mattawamkeag River.
  • Pleasant River Bridge (Town of Milo): On Pleasant Street over the Pleasant River.
  • West Branch Bridge (T3 Indian Purchase Township): On Maine Route 11 over the West Branch of the Penobscot River.

"This TIGER grant is very important to this rural region of our state that is economically challenged," MDOT Commissioner David Bernhardt said, adding that MDOT wanted to replace the bridges before they fall into complete disrepair and have negative effects on the region's infrastructure and economy.

"Replacing these three bridges is critical as detours would consist of 12 to nearly 100 miles one-way," Bernhardt added. "This grant will help to maintain access for area residents and for maintaining the forestry infrastructure. I want to thank Sen. Susan Collins for her efforts in helping to secure this all-important TIGER Grant and for her continued efforts in recognizing the need to prioritize Maine's infrastructure."

The TIGER grant program provides federal assistance for vital transportation projects across the country. Since the program's inception in 2009, Collins has secured more than $133 million for key transportation investments throughout Maine, including bridges, seaports, and rail projects, according to the news release sent to Mainebiz by her office.

Maine TIGER grant applications have been successful in every funding round.

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