News Release for March 30, 2011

For more Information:
Paul Merrill, Public Information Officer - 207-624-3355 or 207-215-9297


Grant Funding For Memorial Bridge Committed By USDOT

Grant funding for Memorial Bridge Committed by USDOT

The Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) received word today that a $20 million federal grant has been secured for the replacement of the Memorial Bridge, which connects Kittery and Portsmouth, New Hampshire. MaineDOT has been working closely with the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, the applicant for the grant, to complete the documentation needed so that funding for the project could be committed by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT).

“We’re delighted to have gotten word today that the TIGER II grant for Memorial Bridge has been secured,” said MaineDOT Commissioner David Bernhardt. “With strong support from the congressional delegations of both states, our staff has been working for weeks with Commissioner Campbell’s team at New Hampshire DOT, and with the Federal Highway Administration to complete everything needed to obligate these funds,” he continued. “Now we’re ready to move forward with contracting the work and putting together the rest of the funding for a project.”

The grant money for the TIGER II (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant had been in question in recent weeks while Congress considers appropriations for the 2011 federal budget. MaineDOT Commissioner David Bernhardt was personally notified this afternoon by Victor Mendez, Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration, that USDOT would commit or “obligate” the grant funding. Maine’s congressional delegation has been working with the department to help ensure the grant would not be rescinded in the federal budget process.

Commissioner Bernhardt expressed thanks from Governor LePage to Maine's congressional delegation for their efforts to protect the grant funding. He also thanked staff at New Hampshire DOT and MaineDOT who have worked non-stop to expedite submittal of environmental and historic documentation for approval by the federal agencies. In the near future, New Hampshire DOT will issue a request for proposals for the Memorial Bridge project.