The funding Senator Collins secured through the highly competitive INFRA grant program will improve U.S. Route 1 in Presque Isle and between Machias and Calais
Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Ranking Member of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, announced today that the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) has been awarded a total of $77.1 million for roadway improvements in Aroostook and Washington counties. The projects will complete the bypass to divert large semi-trailer trucks from Presque Isle’s Main Street (Route 1) and rehabilitate 68 miles of Route 1 between Machias and Calais.
The funding was awarded through the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) Program, which leverages federal grants to help communities invest in high-priority projects to fix crumbling infrastructure.
“U.S. Route 1 is a vital transportation corridor that many Mainers rely on every day to get to work, go to school, and access health care and other essential services. By supporting the next phase of the Presque Isle bypass, this funding will help keep the largest trucks off downtown streets, making it safer and easier for residents to reach local businesses. In addition, by rehabilitating nearly 70 miles of Route 1 in Downeast Maine, this funding will help reduce crashes, improve access to local communities and the Bold Coast Scenic Byway and Bikeway, and facilitate the movement of Maine products,” said Senator Collins. “I strongly advocated for these projects, which will enhance Maine’s transportation system in Aroostook and Washington counties, preserve and create jobs, and deliver direct benefits to families and businesses.”
“Both of these projects will have a significant impact on rural Maine communities for generations to come,” said Bruce Van Note, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Transportation. “These discretionary grant awards will allow us to make a meaningful difference for Maine people and make the affected Maine communities safer and more accessible to all modes of transportation.”
Presque Isle Corridor Project
MaineDOT will receive $44,100,000 to complete Phase II of a commercial two-lane bypass route of Presque Isle’s Main Street (Route 1), constructing an approximately 6.3-mile-long, two-lane highway that will connect US Route 1 south of the city to the current bypass section already in service. The project also includes: a new interchange at US Route 1 and Conant Road; truck climbing lanes; four new overpasses to grade separate the bypass from Henderson Road, Easton Road, Conant Road, and the rail line; box culverts; and multiuse trail crossings at Conant Road and Henderson Road.
Creating a limited access bypass of downtown Presque Isle will allow traffic—particularly large trucks—to avoid 147 commercial/residential driveways, 25 street intersections, 12 crosswalks, nine stoplights and one railroad crossing. The bypass will reduce truck traffic at five known high crash locations in the project area and will also reduce emissions from traffic idling at intersections in town.
Downeast Coastal U.S. Route 1 Rehabilitation Project
MaineDOT will receive $33,000,000 to rehabilitate approximately 68 miles of Route 1 in Washington County, including shoulder widening, replacing drainage structures, making safety improvements such as installing new guardrails and rumble strips, and preparing the corridor for electric vehicle chargers.
The project safety improvements and shoulder widening is expected to significantly reduce the number of lane departure crashes, which are a known safety issue in this corridor. The project serves recreational travel, freight movement, and access to essential services, as it includes segments of the newly designated Bold Coast Scenic Byway and Bikeway, is adjacent to an international land border and seaport, and connects two related tribal communities.
Senator Collins has championed funding for INFRA through her leadership role on the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee. Senator Collins secured $36 million toward the replacement of the Madawaska Bridge, $38 million for the replacement of seven deteriorated bridges, and $45 million to rehabilitate 14 deteriorated bridges in previous rounds of INFRA funding.
Since 2009, when Senator Collins became a member of the Appropriations Committee, she has secured more than $925 million in competitive transportation grants for the State of Maine. Federal competitive grants are a critical component of funding for Maine’s transportation needs.