A congressional spending package brought Bath funding to upgrade its aging sewer system on Commercial Street to counter more frequent flooding in the area.

The road, which runs along the Kennebec River, will receive a new water main from a portion of the $1.67 million package secured by U.S. Sen. Angus King. The upgrade is one of many projects planned for the city to stay on track with its five-year Fiscal Sustainability Plan, which outlined $15 million worth of sewer upgrades.

“The Commercial Street wastewater project is high on the priority list,” city officials said in a statement. “Especially as we continue to see more and more storm-related flooding in the area, and the risks associated with climate change.”

The city said the repairs, which are still in their initial stages, are critical for maintaining safe infrastructure for the thousands of daily commuters and visitors. It additionally plans to use some of the funds to replace a 50-year-old pump system under Sagadahoc Bridge and improve overall wastewater capacity.

City Manager Marc Meyers said the current system poses health and safety risks and are a significant financial burden on the city.

“This funding will reduce the financial burden on ratepayers and help Bath improve its sewer system for the betterment of our community,” Meyers said.

King said in a press release that the upgrades will help preserve and protect the Kennebec River.

Bath’s funding is a portion of $454 million bipartisan Congressionally Directed Spending package secured for Maine. The funds will be used for 185 projects across the state.

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