July 6, 2015 4:00 PM, EDT

Maine Gov. Paul LePage Authorizes Bond Proposal for Transportation Projects

Maine Gov. Paul LePage authorized on July 1 an $85 million bond proposal to fund transportation projects. It will be placed on the November ballot.

The bond’s investments primarily involve the construction, reconstruction or rehabilitation of various projects. These include $17 million for high-priority highways, $46 million for bridge replacements and $17 million for ports, harbors, aviation and passenger railroads.

LePage described the bond as critical to strengthening Maine’s infrastructure and economy, and said it would provide thousands of contractors and construction workers with long-term job security.

Ted Talbot, press secretary for Maine’s Department of Transportation, said that due to limited funding for transportation, the projects have had to be prioritized.

“Every state’s transportation needs always exceed available funding,” Talbot said. “In our case, we are about $110 million short each year of meeting our goals of where we need to be. So funding has always been a major challenge, especially since Congress continues to flat-fund.”

According to Talbot, voters typically back transportation-type bonds. He cited the creation of jobs for transportation projects as a way of strengthening the economy.

“[The voters] know that the transportation infrastructure is not only a challenge to maintain, it’s also a challenge to build,” Talbot said. “So everyone seems to recognize every time a transportation bond has come up, it needs to be a priority. I am confident that the voters will recognize the need for solid, well-built infrastructure. It’s because of that I am confident that this bond will pass.”