U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, chairman of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, announced Wednesday, Nov. 6 that Maine will receive a total of $44.6 million to fund two transportation projects sought by the Maine Department of Transportation and the town of Lubec. The projects, which will be funded through the federal BUILD program, will help replace a bridge in Woolwich and make major improvements to Lubec’s harbor to protect fishermen and boats.
U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao called Collins this afternoon to notify her these projects Collins strongly advocated were approved. This year, the Department of Transportation received 666 eligible BUILD applications requesting more than $9.6 billion in funding. Maine’s projects were two of only 55 applications funded.
“Improving Maine’s infrastructure is one of my top priorities as chairman ... I am delighted to announce this $44.6 million investment for transportation projects that will benefit residents in Midcoast and Downeast Maine,” said Collins. “This funding will support the much needed replacement of the Station 46 Bridge, a critical link between Bath Iron Works and points north that is currently in poor condition. This project will enhance the efficiency of our transportation network while helping Mainers reach their homes and jobs more quickly.
“The new Safe Harbor in Lubec will significantly improve safety for fishermen. The project would allow 30 boats to tie up and would protect boats and fishermen in inclement weather. A year-round Safe Harbor for fishermen and the Maine Marine Patrol is essential for a local economy that relies on the fishing industry,” Collins said.
“We’d like to thank our Congressional representatives, including Senator Collins, for their ongoing commitment to funding transportation infrastructure improvements in Maine,” said MDOT Commissioner Bruce Van Note. “This support from our federal partners continues to be a big part of how we fund our annual work plan. Replacing the Station 46 Bridge – which carries Route One in Woolwich - will preserve this vital commuter, tourism, and economic corridor in Midcoast Maine.”
MDOT will receive $25 million toward a $30 million replacement project of Station 46 Bridge on U.S. Route 1 in Woolwich. The bridge, built in 1933, is a critical connection to Bath Iron Works. It is also part of a vital travel corridor for Maine residents and tourists heading to points north along the coast. If the bridge had to be closed, it would require a detour of approximately 32 miles one-way.
Lubec will receive $19.6 million to build a safe harbor to protect a mooring field that would include a boat launch, harbor and wharf. The project would allow 30 boats to tie up and would protect boats and fishermen in inclement weather. The project would also include a two-way road to the end of the pier, with two hoists for fishermen to get their product to market safely and quickly.