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Maine pilot project could be extended

BANGOR, Me. -- As a pilot project in Maine allowing gross vehicle weights of 100,000 lbs on interstate highways was set to expire, US Senator Susan Collins announced she successfully convinced her colleagues on an Appropriations Committee to...


BANGOR, Me. — As a pilot project in Maine allowing gross vehicle weights of 100,000 lbs on interstate highways was set to expire, US Senator Susan Collins announced she successfully convinced her colleagues on an Appropriations Committee to support a one year extension of the program.

The project has been added to a federal funding bill at the eleventh hour, which is currently being drafted in the Senate, Collins announced on her Web site.

“Changing the federal law to allow the heaviest trucks to stay on the federal interstates, rather than diverting them to secondary roads and downtowns has always been one of my top priorities in the Senate,” Collins said. “The pilot project I secured last year has clearly provided economic, energy, and environmental benefits and has made our secondary roads and many downtowns safer. I am delighted that my colleagues on the Senate Appropriations Committee recognize the importance of extending this successful pilot project.”

The project was initially set to expire Dec. 17, despite the economic benefits the program has yielded. Collins pointed to a study that showed a trip from Hampden to Houlton along I-95 saves 50 minutes over secondary roads. It also allowed trucks to avoid 270 intersections and nine school crossings while saving the driver US$30 in fuel.

The Senate will still need to pass the bill and then it will be taken up by the House of Representatives.


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