Senator Collins also stopped by a Searsport business that received a forgivable PPP loan
Searsport, ME—U.S. Senator Susan Collins and Maine Department of Transportation (Maine DOT) Commissioner Bruce A. Van Note visited Searsport today to review two high-priority projects: the planned reconstruction of Route 1 and the maintenance dredging of the Port of Searsport. As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Collins submitted congressionally directed spending requests to fund both projects and is working to secure funding for them in the next government appropriations bill.
Senator Collins and Commissioner Van Note were accompanied by Searsport Town Manager James Gillway and Maine DOT officials.
“I appreciated meeting with Commissioner Bruce Van Note and Searsport Town Manager James Gillway today to discuss two very important transportation projects that will provide significant benefits to local residents, visitors, and businesses,” said Senator Collins. “The reconstruction of Route 1 will make major improvements to the roadway to ensure safe, efficient travel, while the maintenance dredging of the Port of Searsport will help prevent shipping delays at Mack Point. As part of the annual appropriations process, I submitted these requests on Maine DOT’s behalf to help fund these projects, and I will continue to advocate for these investments through my role on the Appropriations Committee as the process moves forward.”
“Searsport is part of a critical link in the land and maritime transportation system of Maine,” said Commissioner Van Note. “We are pleased and happy to work in partnership with Senator Collins and the Town of Searsport to revitalize Searsport’s village area on Route 1 and to provide critical maintenance dredging to keep Mack Point viable.”
“The Town of Searsport is very pleased to have visited with Senator Collins,” said Searsport Town Manager James Gillway. “She walked with us on Main Street to see some of the challenges our existing conditions present to motorists and pedestrians. She clearly understands the importance of our project and shares our vision for Main Street’s future.”
Route 1 through Searsport is one of the last remaining section of Route 1 considered “unbuilt” in the mid-coast. In addition to serving residents as well as visitors to Acadia National Park and other points of interest, the roadway facilitates the transfer of commodities between the Port of Searsport and Maine communities and businesses. Senator Collins requested $9.2 million for the Route 1 reconstruction project in order to address deficiencies with safety, mobility, pavement structure, pedestrian access, ADA compliance, bicycle access, and parking.
The Port of Searsport is one of the Maine’s three major seaports. The navigation channel was constructed by the US Army Corps of Engineers in 1964 with a design depth of 35 feet. Over the last several years, however, sediments have deposited in the channel. A maintenance dredging has been postponed for more than 12 years. Ensuring there is sufficient clearance for ships unloading liquid and dry cargoes at Mack Point’s two piers is essential to the safety and the efficiency of the port. Senator Collins requested $1.65 million above the President’s budget to dredge approximately 22,000 cubic yards of material from the navigation channel. The deposited material will be used to construct a laydown pad for long-term cargo storage.
After reviewing the Maine DOT projects, Senator Collins stopped by Hamilton Marine to speak with employees and receive a tour of the store led by President Wayne Hamilton. Hamilton Marine received a forgivable loan through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was co-authored by Senator Collins.