Collins announces funding to replace Beals Island Bridge

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), the chairman of the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, announced Tuesday that the U.S. Department of Transportation will award $10,525,000 in federal funding toward the replacement of the Beals Island Bridge in Jonesport.

The funding is awarded from the successful Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program.

The U.S. Department of Transportation contacted Collins Tuesday morning to notify her of the grant award.

“I am delighted to announce that the state of Maine will receive a $10,525,000 investment to help replace the structurally deficient Beals Island Bridge in Jonesport through the TIGER grant program,” Collins said. “The Beals Island Bridge is the only crossing that connects the island and town of Beals with the mainland at Jonesport.

“This important funding will allow the Maine Department of Transportation to move forward in replacing the bridge, improving public safety, increasing connectivity between the island and the mainland, and helping to create jobs in rural Maine.”

The TIGER program was established in 2009 to provide federal assistance for vital transportation projects. Prior to Tuesday’s announcement, Collins has been able to successfully secure more than $112 million through the TIGER program for key projects throughout the state of Maine. Those projects include the replacement of bridges in Kittery, Dresden-Richmond and Rumford and the breakwater in Eastport. They also have included substantial investments in Maine’s ports in Portland, Searsport and Eastport and in rail projects.

Maine has now received more than $122 million for highway, bridge, port and rail projects through the TIGER program.

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