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U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

FHWA 37-11
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Contact: Doug Hecox
Tel: 202-366-0660

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces $4.5 Million in Grants for Maine Highway Projects

Funds will help create jobs by replacing an aging bridge and improving safety on I-95

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced $4.5 million in grants to fund an array of highway-related efforts in Maine, such as installing roundabouts to reduce crashes at exit 113 on I-95 near Augusta, replacing the structurally deficient Ricker's Bridge in Turner and reconstructing a road providing access to and from the tribal tribal lands of the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians.

"Transportation investments like these will create jobs and improve the quality of life for Maine residents as well as strengthen the state's economy," said Secretary LaHood. "The demand from the states for these funds shows just how critical the need is for infrastructure investment."

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) invited states to apply in June for federal funding from 14 grant programs. Requests poured in from every state, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. – more than 1,800 applications, totaling nearly $13 billion, which is more than 30 times the funding available.

"At a time when states are facing serious budgetary constraints, these grants will help fill a critical need," said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. "Investments like these are immediate and long-lasting, and will help create jobs."

Congress created the discretionary grant programs to give FHWA the latitude to support projects that maintain the nation's roads and bridges, improve roadway safety and make communities more livable. In previous years, Congress designated some of this grant money for specific projects and FHWA awarded the remainder through a competitive process. Because the FY11 budget passed by Congress last April directed that all such funds be discretionary, FHWA awarded these funds through a competitive process.

Maine received funding for the following projects:

Modification of exit 113 on I-95 with roundabouts to improve safety in a high-crash area in Augusta $1,173,960
Reconstruction of 1.1-mile segment of Currier Road to improve access between Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians tribal lands, residences and nearby towns of Houlton and Littleton $1,151,400
Improvements to Rockland Terminal to improve parking for ferry passengers in Rockland $810,000
Improvements to Portland Terminal to improve access to vessels and passenger safety in Portland $475,000
Upgrade outdated electronics to improve the safety and reliability of Maine State Ferry vessels that sustain year-round island communities $395,000
Replacement of Ricker's Bridge over Martin Stream in Turner $210,000
Specialized training to help Maine Department of Transportation prepare Disadvantaged Business Enterprises compete for federal highway contracts $101,268
Installation of informational signs at 13 locations along the 92-mile St. John Valley Cultural Byway $84,000
Development of a Corridor Management Plan for Bold Coast Scenic Byway. $80,000
Preservation of Hemlock Covered Bridge in Fryeburg $60,000
Installation of informational signs at the Hancock County Bar Harbor Airport, Trenton Marine Facility and the cruise ship terminal (Bar Harbor) to serve drivers on the Acadia All-American Road $25,200
Installing informational signs at several locations along the Schoodic National Scenic Byway $17,600



A complete state-by-state list of this year's grant recipients is available online at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pressroom/fhwa1137/.

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