Maine Voters OK $85M Bonding Measure Aimed Mostly at Bridge, Road Projects

AASHTO Journal, 6 November 2015

Voters in Maine overwhelmingly backed a ballot measure Nov. 3 for the state to issue $85 million in 10-year bond debt to fund transportation projects, most of which would go to build or rehabilitate bridges and priority highways.

The Bangor Daily News reported the measure passing with nearly 73 percent approval when nearly all precincts had turned in their results.

Last July, when Gov. Paul LePage signed legislation to put the measure on the ballot, his announcement said it would spend $46 million on bridge replacements and rehabilitation, $17 million to build or upgrade high-priority highways and $17 million for various infrastructure projects for ports, harbors or other marine transportation, plus aviation, transit, freight or passenger rail, and bicycle/walking trails.

And LePage said it would put $5 million into a Maine Department of Transportation program called the Municipal Partnership Initiative, under which MaineDOT spends up to $500,000 on individual projects of municipal interest on the state infrastructure system.

The ballot question also said the state bond revenue will be used to match an estimated $121.5 million in federal and other funds dedicated to Maine’s transportation system.

In the days leading up to the balloting, the TRIP infrastructure research group reported Oct. 28 that 15 percent of Maine’s roadway bridges are structurally deficient and in need of repair or replacement. TRIP said another 18 percent of Maine bridges are rated functionally obsolete.

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