Senator Collins Announces More Than $2.5 Million for UMaine Transportation Research

Posted Friday, 10/1/2021 on Susan Collins’ Press Releases Page

Dr. Jonathan Rubin of UMaine, Dr. Moochul Shin of WNEU, Dr. Susan Faraji of UMass Lowell, Senator Susan Collins, Dr. Changhoon Lee of WNEU, Former MaineDOT Commissioner David Bernhardt, and TIDC Center Director Dr. Habib Dagher of UMaine

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Ranking Member of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, announced that the University of Maine’s (UMaine) Center for Transportation Infrastructure Durability Center has been awarded $2,583,300 for fiscal year 2022 by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

“Increasing the durability of our transportation network is key to lowering long-term maintenance costs and reducing environmental impacts,” said Senator Collins.  “The University of Maine is an established leader in advanced construction technology, which boosts economic growth and job creation here in Maine.  The recently completed Grist Mill Bridge in Hampden, which is designed to last 100 years with minimal maintenance, is a prime example of the benefits that UMaine’s cutting-edge transportation research has for our state.  This continued funding for the University of Maine’s Transportation Infrastructure Durability Center will support additional research to build more resilient bridges, roads, and rail lines that will help improve safety and save taxpayer dollars.”

In 2018, UMaine was selected by the DOT to lead a newly created University Transportation Center (UTC).  The UTC agreement will provide up to $14.2 million over five years for the UMaine-led coalition of six New England universities.  As a leader of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Collins strongly advocated for UMaine’s proposal to be selected for this highly-competitive DOT program.

In May 2021, Senator Collins co-led a hearing on ways to increase the resiliency of our transportation infrastructure and invited Dr. Habib Dagher, the Executive Director of UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center (ASCC), to testify.  Later that month, Senator Collins attended the ribbon cutting for the Grist Mill Bridge in Hampden, which is the first in the nation to use fiber reinforced polymer girders, called GBeams, designed and patented at by UMaine’s ASCC and licensed to AIT Bridges.