The Maine Department of Transportation recently released the 2024 edition of its three-year “Work Plan,” which details all of the agency’s capital projects and programs, maintenance and operations activities, planning initiatives, plus administrative functions for calendar years 2024, 2025, and 2026.
[Above photo by Maine DOT]
Maine DOT said its Work Plan is the “primary way” the agency fulfills its mission of supporting economic opportunity and quality of life statewide by maintaining a reliable transportation system, based on available resources.
The agency noted this edition of its Work Plan contains 2,672 individual transportation infrastructure projects with a total value of $4.74 billion, reflecting increased federal and state level funding.
“We are grateful that policymakers came together, recognized the benefits of infrastructure investments, and worked in a bipartisan way to deliver significant steps forward for transportation,” said Maine DOT Commissioner Bruce Van Note in a statement. “This will help us continue a pivot from making do to making real progress.”
At the federal level, he said the Infrastructure Investment Jobs Act or IIJA passed in November 2021 has allowed the agency to compete for special funding in the form of competitive discretionary grant programs and Congressionally-directed spending. With “thoughtful grant applications and the continued support of our Congressional delegation,” Van Note said federal transportation funding coming to Maine should “more than double” from pre-IIJA levels.
At the state level, Maine DOT noted that Governor Janet Mills (D) and state lawmakers unanimously supported a state Highway Fund budget in June 2023 that took a significant step toward addressing the chronic underfunding of transportation.
Both of those expanded and new ongoing funding sources “could not have come at a better time,” Van Note said, given reduced fuel tax revenue projections, opportunities to use state funding to increase federal funding, and the need for state-funded capital projects.
“Transportation will always be a big job in Maine, and challenges will always exist, but now is the time for Maine DOT and its partners to ramp up and deliver,” he added. “We can make a real difference with this Work Plan. That is both invigorating and uplifting.”