Maine will receive $225 million for bridge repairs from the recently passed federal infrastructure package, 1st District Rep. Chellie Pingree announced Friday.
Of Maine’s 2,472 bridges, 315 are in poor condition and 1,431 are in fair condition, according to federal data. The state Department of Transportation’s 2021 work plan found a $67 million annual budget shortfall to address these problems, even if voters continue to approve bonding.
In a statement, Pingree said the fixes and replacements paid for with the new federal funding will help “keep our cities and towns connected, and create good paying jobs.”
“These funds will also help modernize our infrastructure to better withstand the extreme conditions caused by climate change, which we’re woefully unprepared for,” she said.
Nearly 13% of the state’s bridges are in poor condition, a higher percentage than all but five other states, according to a 2021 report from The Bangor Daily News.
Federal data shows that Hancock County has Maine’s highest percentage of poor-rated bridges — 21.7%, representing 15 of the county’s 69 bridges. Penobscot County has the most bridges overall, at 295. About 14% of those are in poor condition.
The bridge piece of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is the largest such program in U.S. history, giving out a total of roughly $27.3 billion to state and tribal governments.