In Madawaska, Governor Mills Tours MaineDOT International Bridge Project
Madawaska, MAINE (STL.News) During a visit to Madawaska, Governor Janet Mills today toured the Madawaska-Edmundston International Bridge Project, which will provide a critical connection between Madawaska, Maine and Edmundston, New Brunswick.
Since October 2017, the 100-year-old International Bridge has been posted at a five-ton weight limit, restricting allowable travel to passenger vehicles and creating a significant detour for residents and businesses. With State and Federal funding, the Maine Department of Transportation is constructing a new bridge that will feature wider travel lanes, shoulders on both sides, and a raised sidewalk on the downstream side. The new bridge is being constructed using steel girders supported on concrete substructures and is designed to last 100 years. The new structure will also connect with a new U.S. Customs and Border Protection land port of entry currently being constructed on the U.S. side of the international border.
“Replacing the International Bridge supports the safe travel of American and Canadian residents and visitors alike, as well as the strength of small businesses who rely on the bridge to transport their products across our borders,” said Governor Mills. “In partnership with the Legislature, my Administration has made historic investments in Maine’s transportation infrastructure to support projects like this one which will benefit people on both sides of our border. I thank the Maine Department of Transportation for its hard work and look forward to the project’s completion in the coming years.”
The total project cost will be $97.5 million. In 2019, this project received a $36-million Infrastructure for Rebuilding American (INFRA) grant from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration. The remaining costs are being shared by the Maine Department of Transportation and the New Brunswick Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (NBDTI).
The unprecedented level of General Fund support provided by Governor Mills and the Maine Legislature has provided MaineDOT with $185 million of additional State funding this year. This funding has saved the department’s capital transportation program by offsetting state Highway Fund revenue reductions driven by the pandemic and high construction costs due to inflation. This transportation investment has eliminated the need for bonding this year.
“We are grateful for the ongoing support Governor Mills and the Maine Legislature have provided for transportation infrastructure in our state,” said MaineDOT Commissioner Bruce Van Note. “State funding coupled with continued support from our federal partners helped make this project and others possible. We are also grateful for our counterparts at the New Brunswick Department of Transportation and Infrastructure who have been excellent partners during the planning, design, permitting, and construction phases of this project.”
The construction phase of this project is the result of a productive collaboration between MaineDOT and NBDTI. This project also involves detailed coordination with federal agencies in both the United States and Canada.
In April 2021, the Maine Department of Transportation awarded the construction contract to Reed & Reed, Inc. of Woolwich. Construction began soon after the contract was awarded. The new bridge is scheduled to be open to traffic by the end of 2023. Demolition of the old bridge will follow. The estimated final completion date of this project is June 30th, 2025.
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