The federal government is expected to award more than $10 million to help pay for the cost of replacing the Beals Island bridge in Jonesport.

The funds, to be awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation, were announced Tuesday by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who chairs the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee. The $10,525,000 award will be made from the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant program.

“The Beals Island bridge is the only crossing that connects the island and town of Beals with the mainland at Jonesport,” Collins said in a news release. “This important funding will allow the Maine Department of Transportation to move forward in replacing the bridge, improving public safety, increasing connectivity between the island and the mainland, and helping to create jobs in rural Maine.”

A letter to the federal Transportation Department dated April 26 and signed by Collins, U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, and U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-2nd District, voiced support for the funding. According to the letter, the bridge, built in 1958, has deteriorating pier piles and is classified as structurally deficient.

Previously, Collins worked to secure more than $112 million through the same program for other projects, including the replacement of bridges in Kittery, Dresden-Richmond and Rumford, as well as substantial investments in Maine’s ports in Portland, Searsport and Eastport, and in rail projects. With the addition of Monday’s announcement, Maine will have received more than $122 million for highway, bridge, port and rail projects through the TIGER program.

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