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Governor Praises Senator Collins for Efforts to Allow Heavier Trucks on Maine’s Interstate Highways

November 4, 2011

Friday, November 04, 2011
Contact: Adrienne Bennett (207) 287-2531
Office of the Governor website: www.Maine.gov/governor

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul LePage praised U.S. Senator Susan Collins today for working to ensure passage of a fix that would allow the heaviest trucks to travel on federal interstates in Maine instead of forcing them off the highway and onto Maine’s secondary roads and through our downtowns.

“I appreciate all the hard work by Senator Collins to ensure passage of the Senate Transportation funding bill, which includes changes in federal law regarding truck weight limits on Maine’s interstate highway system. This legislation would create a much safer road system and it would help move Maine’s economy forward.”

Currently, heavier trucks are prohibited by federal law from traveling on federal interstates in Maine. Instead, they are required to travel on secondary roadways that cut through downtowns on narrow streets. In most of the surrounding New England states and nearby Canadian provinces, the heaviest trucks are free to use the interstates, but not in Maine. This not only puts Maine businesses at a distinct competitive disadvantage but also creates major safety issues.

While the provision to allow heavier trucks on the interstates is included in the Senate Transportation funding bill, similar language is not included in the House version.

“I am calling on Representatives Michaud and Pingree to get behind this provision and to ensure language that would fix this problem is included in the final version of the bill.”

Update: The Office of the Governor was notified by Congressman Michaud’s Office that he is fully committed to and behind this provision. Congressman Michaud has been working to fix this problem for years and has been in contact with key House members to ensure successful passage. The Governor appreciates these efforts. Additionally, Governor LePage recognizes the hard work of Senator Olympia Snowe regarding this bill. “It’s important that we have our entire Congressional Delegation supporting this measure,” said Governor LePage.

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