Washington, D.C.--U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King and Congressman Jared Golden announced that they secured $2,041,000 for Sandy River Bridge in Farmington in the Fiscal Year 2023 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill that was recently signed into law.
The bill was part of the omnibus funding package, which passed the Senate by a vote of 68-29 and the House by a vote of 225-201.
“The Whistle Stop Trail is a great community resource that allows local residents to enjoy the outdoors,” said Senators Collins and King and Congressman Golden. “By connecting the trail with downtown Farmington, a new multi-use bridge will help to fully activate its community and economic benefits as well as provide increased recreational and transportation opportunities between Farmington and Jay.”
The rebuilding of the Sandy River Bridge to connect the regional Whistle Stop Trail to downtown Farmington has been one of this region's biggest opportunities,” said Brent West, Executive Director for the High Peaks Alliance, an organization protecting Maine's tradition of public access. “Farmington is the Gateway to the High Peaks Region in Franklin County and our communities have always been linked to our natural resources. The High Peaks Alliance is thankful to Senators Collins and King and Representative Golden for seeing the importance of this project to Maine."
The funding will be used to support the construction of a 336-foot multi-use bridge connecting the 14-mile long Whistle Stop Trail to the center of Farmington. The Whistle Stop Trail connects Farmington and Jay.
The new bridge will be the longest pedestrian bridge and single-span snowmobile bridge in the state. This design will ensure minimal in-stream work and reduce environmental impacts.
This bridge will be located where the previous rail bridge was destroyed by flood damage in the 1980s. Its replacement has been a priority for the Bureau of Parks and Lands and the local community for years.