The stand taken against earmarks by Maine’s Republican U.S. senators this week will have no effect on the $4 million tagged for work at the Exit 113 interchange of Interstate 95.

U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe joined their Republican colleagues Tuesday in supporting a two-year ban on congressional earmarks. But staffers in both senators’ offices said Snowe and Collins support for limiting earmarks — made during a Republican congressional caucus this week — targets items that would come up in the next fiscal budget.

“It sets a standard going forward,” said Kathryn Bruns, spokeswoman in Snowe’s office.

“It’s for the next two years,” said Kevin Kelley, Collins’ spokesman.

Earmarks are the term for congressional funds aimed at a particular projects. They are often introduced into unrelated legislation by a lawmaker to gain support for projects in his or her home district.

Creation of a full northbound and southbound interchange at Exit 113 in north Augusta is a key piece in the recently approved project to bring a new $319 million regional hospital to Old Belgrade Road nearby. The 192-bed regional hospital will consolidate inpatient services on the north Augusta campus next to the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care.

“We were hoping for the federal funding. But if it doesn’t come through, it certainly won’t derail this project,” said Diane Peterson, of the hospital’s marketing and communications department. “We are exploring other options and are very confident that the exit interchange will be completed.”

Funding for the interchange is one of the earmarks in the Fiscal Year 2011 Senate Transportation Appropriations bill, and that funding was introduced and supported by Snowe and Collins.

“Sen. Snowe and Collins have always had a real high standard for earmarks,” Bruns said. “It’s a good project and (Snowe) obviously supports it because she requested it.”

However, the appropriations bill might not be taken up when Congress reconvenes Dec. 3, and the session could end without any action on the bill.

MaineGeneral Medical Center, which operates hospitals in Augusta and Waterville, received the go-ahead from state regulators two weeks ago for its long-sought regional hospital.

But approval from the commissioner of the Department of Health & Human Services says the hospital must meet conditions of a Harold Alfond Foundation grant award that requires the hospital to secure “timely federal and state approval” and “funding and construction of the I-95 highway access to the new regional site.” The grant also limits the hospital’s contribution for road work to $2 million.

The Alfond foundation has pledged $35 million to the new hospital: $25 million if the new interchange is built; and a dollar-for-dollar match for another $10 million in community donations.

Conditions of the approval also say the hospital has to show the state its plans for patient transportation and transfers if the interchange is not completed six months prior to the new hospital opening.

In the meantime, the state Department of Transportation is continuing its work on designing a full interchange at Exit 113.

The department’s preferred plan for the interchange has been sent to the Federal Highway Administration for review.

However, DOT spokesman Mark Latti said comments won’t be forthcoming for several weeks, and that a required public hearing on the plan is now expected to be set for mid-December at the earliest.

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, also supported funding for the roadwork and exit.

Costs for the interchange project have been estimated at $11 million.