From Washington D.C.

Sen. Angus King cosponsors bill to repair 325 aging Maine bridges

Tue, 06/04/2019 - 4:45pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) cosponsored legislation that would begin to address the more than 47,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country, including 325 bridges in Maine. This figure means 13.1% of Maine’s bridges are classified as structurally deficient, which isthe sixth highest percentage in the nation.  

The Strengthen and Fortify Existing Bridges Act (SAFE Bridges) would establish a program to provide funding specifically dedicated to repairing and replacing bridges in poor condition.

“Right now, Maine ranks in the top 10 of a list that no state wants to be on: percentage of our bridges considered structurally deficient – a technical term for ‘less safe than we’d like,’” said Senator King. “Bridges are a vital part of our state’s infrastructure, but too many are currently behind on needed maintenance, updates, and reinforcements. By making bridge repair a priority, we can create jobs and ensure the safety of drivers for decades to come – a win-win.”

According to the 2019 Bridge Report, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) classifies 325 of Maine’s bridges – or 13.1% of all bridges in the state – as structurally deficient. The SAFE Bridges Act would authorize an additional $2.75 billion annually through Fiscal Year 2025 to enable states to repair and replace bridges in poor condition, as well as maintain the surface coating and corrosion protection systems on eligible bridges. The bill uses a needs-based formula to provide states with funding levels according to their share of the nation’s deficient bridges.

In addition to Senator King, the legislation is supported by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Bob Casey (D-Penn.). To read the text of the bill, click here.