Gov. John Baldacci speaking about Maine’s use of Recovery Act funds. Photo by Ramona du Houx
Hundreds of Mainers employed because of quick action on the part of the state
By Ramona du Houx – June 24, 2009
According to the federal government, Maine is the first state to commit and advertise 100 percent of its Highway and Bridge funds under the Recovery Act. In addition, Maine is the first state to achieve the requirement to commit 50 percent the Recovery Act Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund programs.
“This is really a red-letter day for Maine,” said Jonathan McDade, the Maine division administrator for the Federal Highway Administration. “They have really stepped up and shown themselves to be a model for other states.”
Officials announced the State’s accomplishments at the Sabattus Town Office. One of the four final projects to be advertised by the State for bridge and highway funds is the Route 9 reconstruction in Lisbon and Sabattus, involving 6.75 miles of rural road. The road is an important artery in the central Maine area, connecting the two towns with the Maine Turnpike.
More than 6,000 vehicles a day use this road. Along with this reconstruction, MaineDOT began advertising a reconstruction of Route 1A in Ellsworth, rehabilitation of the substructure of the Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge, and replacement of the Spruce Head Bridge in South Thomaston. These four projects represent more than $30 million in Recovery Act funds.
“I’m pleased to be here today with the State’s many partners to highlight Maine’s success in Recovery Act implementation,” said the Governor. “Critical infrastructure work to transportation, clean water and drinking water systems are improving quality of life and commerce throughout the State, providing good paying construction jobs, primarily through this summer and fall.”
Data collected from mid-June shows that Maine had 30 bridge and highway Recovery projects underway, directly accounting for 757 jobs created or saved. A total of $130.7 million was awarded to Maine from the Recovery Act.
Most of $29 million Maine received for wastewater infrastructure is being used for projects under construction this summer. These funds will provide important economic benefits including creating an estimated 850 to 1350 jobs.
The Drinking Water Program has worked aggressively to put the $19.5 million in Recovery funds to good use. The Recovery funds were used to leverage base program funds and provide benefit to more than 58 projects totaling more than $40 million.
The Governor said that the Recovery Act is providing benefits for all Mainers.
“The Recovery Act is meeting the goals of creating and saving jobs and building the foundation for long-term economic growth,” said the Governor.