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MaineDOT Commissioner's Letter Regarding the new Work Plan, FY 2013-2014-2015

February 12, 2013

Members of the 126th Maine Legislature and Citizens of Maine:

The Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) is pleased to present this $1.812 billion Work Plan for Calendar Years 2013-2014-2015. This Work Plan provides projections of transportation resources and outlines MaineDOT's strategy to apply them to the planning, engineering, construction, operation and maintenance of all modes of Maine's transportation infrastructure. For the first time, we are presenting a Work Plan that discusses all MaineDOT activities and investments, and not just the capital program. While the essence of the new Work Plan continues to be project lists, we also provide an overview of all of MaineDOT's planned expenditures. These include system maintenance (e.g., plowing, ditching) and support functions. The new Work Plan supports MaineDOT's mission, "To responsibly provide our customers with the safest, most reliable transportation system possible, given available resources."

Additional improvements introduced in this Work Plan include a shift from a state fiscal year to a calendar-year cycle, and increasing the time period covered by the Work Plan from two to three years. The change to a calendar year better aligns the Work Plan with the construction season, which begins in the spring and continues into October. The calendar-year cycle also makes the Work Plan more user-friendly for our customers and transportation partners. Calendar Year 2013 (CY 2013) project listings contain specific details related to construction and delivery schedule. CY 2014-2015 projects are typically those that are currently in development and likely to be constructed when funding becomes available. First-year projects are "locked in" and will be constructed in that year, while the schedule for second- and third-year projects is less certain, as it is contingent on funding availability. The Work Plan will be updated annually, increasing our ability to make changes based on federal policy fluctuations, in infrastructure condition and in funding. This provides our customers with more confidence about project outcomes and schedules.

This Work Plan invests over $1.812 billion, with $953 million in highway and bridge capital, $392.6 million for maintenance and operations, and $157.8 million in multimodal capital projects. The Work Plan also includes $89 million in multimodal operational funding. This Plan seeks to provide the highest customer return-on-investment. MaineDOT's approach is to prioritize needs, and to direct resources to where they can have the greatest customer impact, while ensuring all Maine's citizens have adequate access to the transportation system.

We at MaineDOT are committed to implementing this Work Plan in accordance with our core values of Integrity, Competence and Service. Please contact us with any questions you may have, and we will do our best to answer them. Thank you for your ongoing support, which enables us to address the needs of our customers, the users of Maine's transportation system.

David Bernhardt