Houlton, ME—Today, U.S. Senator Susan Collins visited Houlton’s historic downtown to review sidewalks and the Gateway Crossing Pedestrian Bridge that are in need of renovations. Senator Collins was joined by Houlton Town Manager Marian Anderson, Community Development Director Nancy Ketch, and Public Works Director Chris Stewart. Afterwards, Senator Collins had lunch at Market Pizza with members of the Houlton community.
In an effort to create safe and walkable infrastructure for the community, Senator Collins submitted a congressionally directed spending request for $732,000 for the Walkable Houlton Project, which aims to repair and replace sidewalks throughout town and make improvements to the Gateway Crossing Pedestrian Bridge. As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Collins is working to secure this funding through the ongoing appropriations process.
“Historic downtowns are a focal point of communities across our state. During my visit to Houlton today, I saw firsthand the importance of restoring sidewalks and the Gateway Crossing Pedestrian Bridge,” said Senator Collins. “By improving the town’s infrastructure, these investments would promote economic development and enhance the wellbeing of Mainers.”
As a service center community, Houlton’s roads and sidewalks have heightened use. The Walkable Houlton Project would improve many of the sidewalks leading to the downtown that are in disrepair to the point of being dangerous, including those leading to Houlton Middle/High School, the Summit Academy, and Greater Houlton Christian Academy. In addition, the railing along the Gateway Crossing Pedestrian Bridge has sharp, peeling paint that requires repair. The bridge provides access to Riverfront Park Trails and is frequently used by older residents who live in housing in Market Square.
Houlton recently became designated as an Age Friendly Community, and this project fits well with the vision of ensuring there is easy, safe access to recreational activities as wells as to the downtown businesses for all ages.