Maine voters  overwhelmingly approved two state ballot questions Tuesday that will provide money for road and bridge improvements and make it easier for individuals with disabilities to support citizen petitions without actually signing them.

Question 1, which authorizes $105 million in bonds for transportation improvements, was ahead, 68,125 to 22,041 with 386 of 571 precincts reporting at 10 p.m..

Question 2 was approved, 79 percent to 21 percent. It creates a constitutional amendment that allows for people with disabilities to use alternative methods to sign citizen-initiated petitions.

Question 1 designates $85 million for road and bridge construction projects; $15 million for ports, harbors, airports, railroads, public transit, and bicycle and pedestrian trails; $4 million to upgrade municipal culverts; and $1 million to renovate a wharf and bulkhead at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland. The state funds will be used to match an estimated $137 million in federal funds, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.

Gov. Janet Mills had urged Mainers to vote for the transportation bond. She said repairs and maintenance are crucial because Maine is one of most rural states in America and has one of the nation’s most widely dispersed populations.

“This is not a partisan issue. We don’t drive on Democratic or Republican roads, but our roads are in dire need of repair and reconstruction,” Mills said in a statement. Mills signed the bond into law in August after it was approved with overwhelming bipartisan legislative support.



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