BRIDGE RESCUE: Maine falling further behind in bridgework

Spending only about $70 million annually is not enough

Bridge Rescue News March 04, 2015
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Some does not address the sum.
 
The state of Maine has more than 770 bridges that are more than 70 years old and need to be either repaired or replaced. About $70 million a year is spent on this crusade, but according to a new report at least $140 is needed.
 
Despite the shortfall, Maine DOT Commissioner David Bernhardt said safety is not an issue.
 
“First and foremost, bridges are safe,” said Bernhardt. “People should not be worried about crossing a bridge.”
 
Maine Gov. Paul LePage would rather borrow than raise the state’s gas tax. A 10-year plan is in the works, but it will only address part of the funding problem and calls for the use of bonds.
 
State Sen. Ron Collins, co-chairman of the Transportation Committee, said Maine might have to transfer money over from the general fund, but such a move might be even more difficult to carry out than the raise in the gas tax. State Rep. Andrew MacLean, who leads the Transportation Committee with Collins, wants a task force to be formed and a strategy proposed in a year.
 
 

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