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The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) will award a $7.89 million grant to help fund a railroad bridge repair project in Maine, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) announced yesterday.The grant is being awarded under the USDOT grant program known as Fostering Advancements in Shipping and Transportation for the Long-Term Achievement of National Efficiencies, or FASTLANE. The $7.89 million in funding will be provided to the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) for a project to repair and upgrade 22 rail bridges on the Madawaska Subdivision of the Maine Northern Railway, according to a press release issued by Collins' office.Under the project, 14 bridges will undergo minor repairs; three bridges' superstructures will be replaced; and one bridge will be replaced entirely. Once the project is completed, the 151-mile section will be capable of carrying 286,000 pounds of rail-car weight."This major rail link is used daily by manufacturers and customers across our state, and these improvements will significantly increase capacity and efficiency throughout the corridor," said Collins, who chairs the Senate Transportation Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee.Collins noted that as subcommittee chair, she worked to ensure the FASTLANE program was fully funded."This funding for the Maine Railroad Bridge Capacity project will help create jobs, improve competitiveness and efficiency, and provide an economic boost for the state of Maine," she said.
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