Senator Collins Announces $20 Million Investment in the Maine Railways Project

     WASHINGTON, D.C.— U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Chairman of the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee, announced this morning that the Department of Transportation will award the Maine Railways Project $20 million in funding through the successful Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program.

      The Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx, called Senator Collins this morning to notify her of the grant award. 

      "I am very pleased to announce that the State of Maine will receive a $20 million investment in the Maine Railways Project through the TIGER grant program. This important investment will help to rebuild and upgrade our state’s railway system, create jobs in Maine, and provide increased public safety for our communities,” said Senator Collins.  

     “Once again, I applaud the effort of Senator Susan Collins’ commitment to Maine’s transportation needs. This TIGER Grant is crucial as it will improve the accessibility and long-term prospects for the economy of the state through freight rail by allowing the improved movement of goods both in and out of Maine,” said Maine Department of Transportation Commissioner, David Bernhardt.

      The TIGER program was established in 2009 to provide federal assistance for vital transportation projects.  Senator Collins has worked to ensure that the program has been funded every single year since it was first established.  Over the last six years, Senator Collins has been able to successfully secure more than $90 million through the TIGER program for key projects throughout the state of Maine, including the replacements of bridges in Kittery, Dresden-Richmond, and Rumford, and the breakwater in Eastport. With the addition of today’s announcement, Maine will receive more than $110 million for highway, bridge, port, and rail projects through the TIGER program. 

      “One of my highest priorities as Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development has been to help ensure that our nation's vital transportation infrastructure does not fall into disrepair. I have seen first-hand how critically important TIGER grants have been to economic growth, infrastructure repairs, and many bridge and port projects across Maine that may not have otherwise been built,” said Senator Collins.

      The Maine Regional Railways Project provides investment in new rail, ties, surfacing, and upgraded road crossings and signal systems on the railroad mainlines in the state. The project will rehabilitate approximately 380 miles of track throughout Maine, removing longstanding bottlenecks and creating faster and more reliable freight service.  The TIGER funding will support 54% of the total project cost of $37,348,516.