Senator Susan Collins Speaks At Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony For Martin Memorial Bridge

RUMFORD, ME — U.S. Senator Susan Collins, Chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, attended the Martin Memorial Bridge Ribbon Cutting Ceremony this afternoon and delivered remarks from the new bridge on the Androscoggin River. 
      In her remarks, Senator Collins stated that the “two central purposes of every transportation project are to stimulate economic growth and to increase public safety.  The first is a goal of government, but the second is an obligation.  The new Martin Memorial Bridge is a perfect example of striving toward that goal and of meeting that obligation."
      In 2012, after the Federal Highway Administration classified the Martin Memorial Bridge as “structurally deficient,” Senator Collins toured the bridge with Maine Department of Transportation Commissioner David Bernhardt and other local leaders.  According to a cost-benefit analysis for this project, the loss of this crossing would have increased travel distances for people and businesses by more than 5.5 million miles per year, and increased travel costs by more than $4 million.
      “It was clear that the bridge needed to be replaced,” Senator Collins stated. “As Ranking Member of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, I made securing funding for the bridge one of my top priorities.  That is why I worked hard to secure a $5.2 million TIGER grant for this important project to help replace the 57-year-old Martin Memorial Bridge.”
      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 year since it was first established.  To date, Maine has received more than $90 million for highway, bridge, port, and rail projects through this program, which has been essential to rebuilding infrastructure, getting our economy moving, and creating jobs.