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Maine Gets $25M in CHBP Grants for Vital Bridge Work

Thu September 12, 2019 - Northeast Edition #19
Federal Highway Administration

Maine’s I-295 Bridges Project.
Maine’s I-295 Bridges Project.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced the recipients of $225 million in Competitive Highway Bridge Program (CHBP) grant funding. Awarded to 20 projects in 18 states, the grants will fund a variety of bridge improvements including replacement and rehabilitation.

"This $225 million in federal funding will enable 18 states to make vital upgrades to select bridges in rural areas," she said

Maine received approximately $25 million in grants:

  • Close to $19 million will go to the I-295 Bridge Project, which is designed to improve the condition of four bridges in poor condition using accelerated bridge construction technologies.
  • Approximately $6 million will go to the Franklin County Bridges project, which will improve the condition of three bridges in poor condition. The project promotes the use of new technologies. It will benefit the region's forest products industry and tourism.

By law, the funds were restricted to states with population densities of less than 100 people per square-mile based on Census data. Twenty-five states met program qualifications.

The funds must be used for highway bridge replacement or rehabilitation projects on public roads that leverage the efficiencies associated with "bundling" at least two highway bridge projects into a single contract. Bundling offers cost and time savings, which are beneficial to reducing the transportation project backlog. It allows the opportunity to address many projects facing similar needs using innovative replacement and rehabilitation strategies in a cost-effective manner.

The 20 projects selected significantly demonstrate these benefits and support the Department's priorities.

"The projects funded under the program will serve as models for similar bridge improvement projects throughout the nation," said Federal Highway Administrator Nicole R. Nason. "They are examples of how to achieve time and cost savings through innovation."

Congress funded the CHBP grant program in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, from the U.S. Treasury's General Fund. State Departments of Transportation in the 25 eligible states were invited to apply under the program.

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