MDOT receives millions in federal funding for seven bridge replacements
"Many of these bridges are over 90 years old. They're beyond their functional life."
Senator Susan Collins has helped secure more than 38 million dollars of federal funding for the replacement of seven Maine bridges.
"We are just getting to the point where we are stretching the life out of many bridges to the point that we're cutting things pretty close." says Joyce Taylor, chief engineer with Maine DOT.
She says bridges around the state are inspected every two years and would be posted or closed before they become a danger to the public. This project aims to prevent that necessity by replacing them.
"38.1 million dollars is going to make a big difference because the department in the state is faced with plummeting gas tax revenues due to the coronavirus." said Senator Collins. "People just aren't driving as much as they used to."
The bridges include I-95 over Webb Road in Waterville, I-95 over Broadway in Bangor, Main Street bridge in Solon, Red Bridge in Rumford, and the double bridge on Stillwater avenue in Old Town.
That project includes additional work to improve traffic flow nearby.
"It's not just a bridge project it's replacing bridges with intersection work which is part of the grant."
The bridges were partly selected for their importance as part of the National Freight Highway system.
"If our great grandchildren don't have to pay for it... if we can stretch that life... it's going to save the state of Maine a lot of money in the long run." says Taylor.
According to the grant application, the projects should generate 1.2 billion dollars in benefits over 30 years.
MDOT is matching around 14 million dollars in spending.
Construction is expected to begin in 2022 and continue through the following year.
"There will be inconvenience as there always is when a bridge is replaced but in the end we'll be so much better off." said Collins.
You can find a link to the grant application in the sidebar.