Maine DOT's mission is to provide safe, reliable and affordable transportation systems that support economic opportunity for people in every corner of the state. The department manages the state's roads, bridges, ferries and airports. The agency also leads the integration of environmental and transportation objectives, incorporating best practices and innovations to create an environmentally sustainable and resilient transportation system.
The DOT said it has experienced construction cost increases of 40 to 50 percent since 2018, driven by tight labor and materials markets. The agency is working hard to use ingenuity and prudent stewardship of customer funds, it says. "Maine travelers and taxpayers rightfully expect a MacGyver approach to ensuring that we deliver the most customer value with every dollar of our budget," said commissioner Bruce Van Note.
In the past year, DOT has rejected multiple bids for road and bridge construction due to price spikes caused by rising fuel and material costs. A recent example: the replacement of a 91-year-old bridge in Old Town was set to cost more than double what was originally estimated, prompting the DOT to cancel plans and seek alternatives.
The DOT's current work plan calls for funding to replace 75 miles of rail on the CSX Waterville-Mattawamkeag line ($42.5 million); track improvements that will allow heavier freight cars and greater speeds for rail service in southern Maine ($45.2 million); and new hybrid electric vessels to improve ferry service in Lincolnville and Islesboro ($35 million). It also includes $12 million to address pedestrian safety in 12 communities identified as high crash areas, plus $171.5 million for state aviation infrastructure across multiple airports.