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Updated: June 29, 2021

14 bridge decks in Maine included in 'Rebuilding America' funding

The Maine Department of Transportation was awarded a total of $45.2 million for the replacement of decks on 14 bridges across the state.

The bridges, in Benedicta, Medway, Howland, Bangor, Hampden and Pittsfield, allow local residents and freight to be transported throughout Maine.

The MDOT funding came through the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America Program, which leverages federal grants to help communities invest in high-priority projects to fix crumbling infrastructure.

The announcement was made by U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, the Ranking Member of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee; U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, and U.S. Reps. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine 1st District, and Jared Golden, D-Maine 2nd District.

Collins was a strong advocate for the funding, and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg called Collins last week to notify her of the grant approval, according to a joint news release from the congressional delegation. 

“The people of Maine rely heavily on the routes these bridges serve to get to work, go to school, and access health care and other essential services. These bridges are also essential to our freight network, providing access to the northernmost parts of Maine and to Canada,” the delegation said in a joint statement.

“This project to rehabilitate these bridges will improve the efficiency of Maine’s transportation system, preserve and create jobs, enhance Maine’s ability to compete in national and international markets, and deliver direct benefits to families and businesses across the state.”

The bridges are part of the National Highway System and are "must do" work, said MDOT Commissioner Bruce A. Van Note.  Without the grant, the agency would have had to scale back other projects to get the bridge work done.

They are considered structurally deficient and have deteriorated to the end of their useful lives, which could have otherwise led to significant freight detours, according to the news release. The aging bridge decks will be replaced with new, safe, and modern bridge decks, meeting current traffic safety standards.

In previous rounds of Infrastructure for Rebuilding America Program funding, Collins secured $36 million toward the replacement of the Madawaska Bridge and $38 million for the replacement of seven deteriorated bridges in previous rounds of INFRA funding.

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