Proposes the use of GARVEE funds to rehabilitate the Memorial and I-95 Bridges that span over the Piscataqua River
AUGUSTA – Senator Dawn Hill has submitted two bills this legislative session to address the need for repair of the Memorial Bridge and I-95 Bridge in Kittery.
The proposed legislation follows the work and findings of a Bi-State Bridge Funding Task Force that was established back in October 2010. Both bridges were identified in the final report for repair and rehabilitation.
“The future use of the bridges is a top priority for our region,” said Senator Hill. “I have heard from many concerned citizens and businesses and understand the significance of rehabbing both bridges.”
The Memorial Bridge and I-95 Bridge face a unique situation because they cross the Piscataqua River and connect Maine to New Hampshire. However, both states continue to work together on addressing the needs of each bridge.
“These bridges are literally the gateway to Maine for tourism and business. They bring in a majority of the shoppers, vacationers, and commerce to our state.” Senator Hill added, “They are certainly an economic factor to the State of Maine.”
Under Senator Hill’s legislation, GARVEE Bonds would be used to fund $35 million toward the Memorial Bridge and another $15 million for the I-95 Bridge. New Hampshire’s Transportation Committee approved the use of GARVEE Bonds in their last Legislative Session to assist in the bi-state effort to help fund the repairs of these bridges.
As states struggle to find resources to pay for infrastructure needs, GARVEE Bonds (Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle) provide an innovative approach for funding transportation projects. Use of this funding mechanism allows the state to sell bonds to get money up front to pay for the bridge projects. The sale is based on the assumption that federal funding in future years will pay off the bonds.
Both bills are currently in the early stages of the legislative process and have not been scheduled for a public hearing.
To view a copy of the Bi-State Bridge Funding Task Force report, go to www.maine.gov/mdot.
Senator Hill is offering an email update for any interested citizen or business who would like to stay informed about the bridge projects. Go to www.mainesenate.org and click on the “Join Our Mailing List” tab to sign up for Senator Hill’s email update.
Senator Dawn Hill is the Ranking Democratic Senator of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee. She represents Senate District 1, which includes the communities of Eliot, Kittery, Ogunquit, South Berwick, and York.