Senator Collins announces more than $77…

washington d.c.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a member of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, today announced that the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) has received a total of $77.1 million for road improvements in Aroostook and Washington counties. The projects will complete the bypass to divert large tractor-trailer trucks from the main street of Près Isle (Route 1) and rehabilitate 68 miles of Route 1 between Machias and Calais.

The funding was awarded through the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) program, which leverages federal grants to help communities invest in high-priority projects to fix crumbling infrastructure.

“U.S. Route 1 is a vital transportation corridor that many Maine residents rely on every day to get to work, school, and access to health care and other essential services. By supporting the next phase of the Almost Isle Bypass, this funding will help keep larger trucks off downtown streets, making it easier and safer for residents to access local businesses. Additionally, by rehabilitating nearly 70 miles of Highway 1 in Downeast Maine, this funding will help reduce accidents, improve access to local communities and the Bold Coast Scenic Byway and Bikeway, and ease the flow of Maine products, said Senator Collins. “I have been a strong advocate for these projects, which will improve Maine’s transportation system in Aroostook and Washington counties, preserve and create jobs, and provide direct benefits to families and businesses..

“These two 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. “These discretionary grants will allow us to make a meaningful difference for the people of Maine and make affected Maine communities safer and more accessible to all modes of transportation.”

Almost Isle Corridor Project

MaineDOT will receive $44,100,000 to complete Phase II of a two-lane Main Street Bypass of Près Isle (Highway 1) commercial roadway, constructing an approximately 6.3-mile-long two-lane freeway that will will connect U.S. Route 1 south of the city to the current bypass section already in service. The project also includes: a new interchange at US Route 1 and Conant Road; truck climbing routes; four new overpasses to separate the bypass from Henderson Road, Easton Road, Conant Road and the railway line; box culverts; and multi-use trail crossings at Conant Road and Henderson Road.

The creation of a limited-access bypass of downtown Près Isle will allow traffic, especially large trucks, to avoid 147 commercial/residential driveways, 25 street intersections, 12 crosswalks, nine traffic lights red and a level crossing.. The bypass will reduce truck traffic at five known high collision locations in the project area and will also reduce emissions from idling traffic at city intersections.

North American Coast Highway 1 Rehabilitation Project

MaineDOT will receive $33,000,000 to rehabilitate approximately 68 miles of Route 1 in Washington County, including widening the shoulder, replacing drainage structures, safety improvements such as installing new railings and new rumble strips and hallway preparation for electric vehicle chargers.

The project’s safety improvements and shoulder widening are expected to significantly reduce the number of lane departure crashes, which are a known safety issue in this corridor. The project serves recreational travel, freight transportation and access to essential services as it includes segments of the newly designated Bold Coast Scenic Byway and Bikeway Scenic Byway and Bikeway, is adjacent to a land border and an international seaport and connects two related tribal communities.

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Senator Collins has championed INFRA funding through her leadership role on the Transportation Credits Subcommittee. Senator Collins got $36 million towards the replacement of the Madawaska bridge, $38 million for the replacement of seven damaged bridges, and $45 million to rehabilitate 14 bridges that deteriorated in previous INFRA funding cycles.

Since 2009, when Senator Collins became a member of the Appropriations Committee, she has secured more than $925 million in competitive transportation grants for the state of Maine. Competitive federal grants are an essential part of funding Maine’s transportation needs.

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