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September 12, 2022

$77.1M in road improvements on tap for Aroostook and Washington counties

road with cars PHOTO / FRED FIELD Route 1 is the focus of two road improvement projects in Aroostook and Washington counties.

A bypass route for Presque Isle and improvement of 68 miles of Route 1 in Washington County will be the focal point of road projects totaling $77.1 million.

Money for the two projects was awarded to the Maine Department of Transportation by the competitive Infrastructure for Rebuilding America Program, which leverages federal grants to help communities invest in high-priority projects to fix crumbling infrastructure.

The projects will complete the bypass in Presque Isle to divert tractor trailers from the city’s Main Street (Route 1) and will rehabilitate 68 miles of Route 1 between Machias and Calais.

“U.S. Route 1 is a vital transportation corridor that many Mainers rely on every day to get to work, go to school and access health care and other essential services,” U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said in a news release. 

The Presque Isle bypass is expected to help keep the largest trucks off downtown streets, making it safer and easier for residents to reach local businesses.  

The improvements to the stretch of Route 1 Downeast is expected to help reduce crashes, improve access to local communities and the Bold Coast Scenic Byway and Bikeway and facilitate the movement of Maine products.

The projects “will enhance Maine’s transportation system in Aroostook and Washington counties, preserve and create jobs, and deliver direct benefits to families and businesses,” Collins said.

“Both of these projects will have a significant impact on rural Maine communities for generations to come,” said Bruce Van Note, commissioner of the Maine Department of Transportation.  

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