Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins announced today that $732,000 she requested for the Walkable Houlton project was included in the Fiscal Year 2022 Transportation and Housing Appropriations bill. Senator Collins, the Ranking Member and lead Republican on the Transportation and Housing Appropriations Subcommittee, visited downtown Houlton to review the planned improvements last October.
The omnibus funding package passed the House and the Senate and now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law.
“Houlton’s Market Square is a beautiful destination and a focal point for the community,” said Senator Collins. “The Walkable Houlton project will make it easier for seniors to get around downtown by eliminating tripping hazards, and it will increase safety for students by restoring curbs to clearly delineate roads and sidewalks. The project will also renovate the Gateway Pedestrian Bridge, which has become a symbol for Houlton.”
As a service center community, Houlton’s roads and sidewalks have heightened use. The Walkable Houlton Project will improve many of the sidewalks leading to the downtown that are in disrepair to the point of being dangerous, including those leading to Houlton Middle/High School, the Summit Academy, and Greater Houlton Christian Academy. In addition, the railing along the Gateway Crossing Pedestrian Bridge has sharp, peeling paint that requires repair. The bridge provides access to Riverfront Park Trails and is frequently used by older residents who live in housing in Market Square.
Houlton was recently designated an Age Friendly Community by AARP, and this project aligns with the vision of ensuring that residents of all ages have easy, safe access to recreational activities as well as to downtown businesses.