Maine DOT releases three-year work plan for transportation projects

Plan includes nearly $1.4 billion for highway and bridge capital projects over the next three years

January 26, 2021 / 2 minute read
highway construction projects; construction planning and funding

The Maine DOT this week released the 2021 Edition of the state's three-year work plan.

This work plan includes all capital projects and programs, maintenance and operations activities, planning initiatives, and administrative functions for calendar years 2021, 2022, and 2023. This plan contains 2,180 individual work items with a total value of $2.71 billion.

Despite significant challenges arising from the pandemic, MaineDOT says this work plan maintains essential service and provides for solid capital programs. It does so with robust and prudent state bonding made possible by historically low interest rates and by fully utilizing discretionary and extraordinary federal funding. It also seeks to expand partnership programs, support existing and emerging businesses, refocus investment in villages, and confront climate change.

This work plan includes nearly $1.4 billion for highway and bridge capital projects over the next three years. That includes:

  • 166 bridge projects (estimated cost: $504 million).
  • 100 miles of highway construction and rehabilitation (estimated cost: $212 million).
  • 222 highway safety and spot improvements (estimated cost: $122 million).
  • 893 miles of preservation paving (estimated cost: $321 million).
  • 2,175 miles of Light Capital Paving (estimated cost: $108 million).

Transportation needs in Maine continue to far outpace available resources, MaineDOT says. The pre-pandemic estimate of MaineDOT's unmet need was $232 million per year. That shortfall figure was calculated after assuming that state bonding of $100 million or more will continue annually. The economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic including drops in traffic volumes and, subsequently, Highway Fund revenue have exacerbated MaineDOT's funding challenges.

"In the short term, we must focus on defeating the virus, restoring our economy, helping Maine people and businesses in need, and addressing budget shortfalls," MaineDOT Commissioner Bruce Van Note said in a statement. "In the long term, we have great opportunities to make a real difference for the people of Maine after we resolve the chronic funding challenges in our transportation system. By investing in transportation, we can move Maine forward."

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SOURCE: Maine DOT

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