Wednesday March 30, 2011 | 04:58 PM

The $20 million federal funding to help pay for the replacement of the Memorial Bridge in Kittery has been safeguarded, say a trio of Maine lawmakers.

Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree of the 1st district and GOP Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine have been working for a while now to ensure the Department of Transportation allocates the money ahead of a potential budget cut.

The House GOP-approved budget bill slashed $61 billion for the remaining months of the 2011 fiscal year that ends Sept. 30, including the federal funding for the Memorial Bridge project. That bill, however, has never become law and budget negotiations continue between Senate Democrats, House Republicans and the White House.

But the Maine lawmakers, along with their counterparts in New Hampshire, say the Department of Transportation now has agreed to "obligate" the funding, meaning it can't be cut regardless of the outcome of the budget negotiations. They have indicated previously they were optimistic that would occur.

"As soon as those papers are signed this afternoon, the funding for this critical bridge will be safe and can't be rescinded, no matter what happens with politics in Washington," Pingree said.

Snowe said that she is "grateful the U.S. Department of Transportation fulfilled its commitment to the Memorial Bridge project in a timely fashion and that completion of this bridge overhaul was not jeopardized by ongoing budget debates in Washington." 

Collins said that she is "delighted by today's announcement that this critical $20 million will be preserved that will help to rehabilitate a vital link for our states' businesses and people."

About this Blog

Subscribe to the
Maine on the Hill RSS

About the Author

Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
Kevin can be reached at 317-6256 or

Subscribe to the
Maine on the Hill RSS

Previous entries

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013


September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

February 2011

Further Discussion

Here at we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)
Prefer to respond privately? Email us here.