Senator Collins Meets with MDOT Commissioner Bruce Van Note and Former Commissioner David Bernhardt

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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Chairman of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, recently met with Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) Commissioner Bruce Van Note and former Commissioner David Bernhardt in her Washington, D.C., office to discuss infrastructure projects and priorities in Maine.  Mr. Bernhardt now serves as the Director of Maintenance and Operations at MDOT.  The two were visiting our nation’s capital to attend the annual American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Washington Briefing.


“I had a productive discussion with Bruce and David about the challenges Maine’s transportation system faces and ways we can work together to solve them.  Bruce has extensive experience maintaining and improving Maine’s roads and bridges, and I look forward to our work together in his new leadership role,” said Senator Collins. “It was also a pleasure to see David again, who demonstrated his strong leadership abilities and commitment to sound transportation policy during his time as commissioner.  I know he will continue to be a valuable partner in our shared priority to improve infrastructure throughout the state.”


Under Chairman Collins’ leadership, the fiscal year (FY) 2019 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Bill provides $900 million for BUILD Grants and requires at least 50 percent of the funding to benefit rural areas like Maine.  Since 2009, Senator Collins has secured more than $160 million for Maine transportation projects through this grant program, including $26.6 million in 2018 alone.


As Commissioner, Mr. Van Note oversees Maine’s 8,800 miles of state highway and 2,700 bridges, along with railroads, airports, seaports, ferries and transit buses.  Born in Houlton and raised in Bath, Commissioner Van Note has 25 years of professional transportation work experience throughout the state, including 20 years at MDOT.


He served 12 years as Deputy Commissioner, and most recently as the Director of Policy and Planning at the Maine Turnpike Authority.