Staff, Piscataquis Observer • March 7, 2018
MILO — U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, the chairman of the transportation appropriations subcommittee, announced that the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) will receive $10,836,220 to replace three bridges in Piscataquis and Penobscot counties that are either structurally deficient, in a fracture-critical state, or both. Among the three is the Pleasant River Bridge in Milo on outer Pleasant Street.
“I am delighted to announce that the State of Maine will receive a more than $10.8 million investment to help replace three structurally deficient bridges in Piscataquis and Penobscot Counties through the TIGER grant program,” said U.S. Sen. Collins. “Local residents rely on these bridges, which connect them with adjacent communities and provide critical transportation links for loggers and visitors as well. This project will improve public safety and help to create and support jobs in rural Maine.”
“Our families and job creators across Maine rely on our state’s critical infrastructure,” said U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine. “The roads, bridges and highways that crisscross our state connect our communities and it is essential they are in dependable condition. This is welcome support to help get Maine’s infrastructure back into shape.”
“This TIGER Grant is very important to this rural region of our state that is economically challenged,” said MDOT Commissioner David Bernhardt. “Replacing these three bridges is critical as detours would consist of 12 to nearly 100 miles one-way. This grant will help to maintain access for area residents and for maintaining the forestry infrastructure. I want to thank U.S. Sen. Susan Collins for her efforts in helping to secure this all-important TIGER Grant and for her continued efforts in recognizing the need to prioritize Maine’s infrastructure.”
The other two bridges that will be replaced under MDOT’s proposal, the “Penquis Region Rural Bridges Project,” are the Mattawamkeag Bridge in the town of the same name on Route 2 over the Mattawamkeag River and the West Branch Bridge in T3 Indian Purchase Township on Route 11 over the West Branch of the Penobscot River.
MDOT wants to replace the bridges before the overspans fall into complete disrepair and have negative effects on the region’s infrastructure and economy.
TIGER provides federal assistance for vital transportation projects across the country. Since the program’s inception in 2009, U.S. Sen. Collins has secured more than $133 million for key transportation investments throughout Maine, including bridges, seaports, and rail projects. Maine TIGER grant applications have been successful in every funding round.