STATEWIDE — On Nov. 2, Maine voters will decide on a number of ballot questions.
Voters will have to decide if they support, or are against, question 2.
The question asks if voters favor a $100 million bond issue to build and improve roads, bridges, railroads, airports, transit facilities and ports.
The money would be used to leverage up to $253 million in federal, local and private funds.
“Roads and bridges in our state, as well as other transportation infrastructure are often bonded. As a result, that has to be approved by the voters and voters are asked to approve whether they want the state to borrow money to make transportation infrastructure investments in our state,” said Shenna Bellows, Maine Secretary of State.
Question 2 will be a familiar sight for voters at the polls.
Department of Transportation Commissioner Bruce Van Note said this is the seventh year the bond has been set at the $100 million level.
Even though the bond has passed every year by substantial margins, Van Note said this is not something to be taken for granted.
He said transportation affects every person every day.
“If you’ve eaten anything that ever came off a truck, which is all of us, or you drove to work, which is almost all of us, transportation affects you,” Van Note said. “This bond is what allows us to match federal funds and do the bulk of our transportation improvements.”
Van Note said the upkeep and improvement of transportation projects is always ongoing and this bond is vital to funding those necessary projects.
“Statewide it would fund over 50 bridge projects, 30 miles of highway reconstruction, and 30 multimodal projects of all types. It is really a linchpin of how we deliver transportation to the people of Maine,” Van Note said.
The bond will do more than improve bridges and roads. It will also help maintain seaports, a crucial element for the state of Maine.
Chris Gardner, the executive director of Eastport Port Authority said roughly 80% of all goods in the world, at some point in time, travel over the ocean.
“This bond that is going to the voters this election day has a critical component in there that helps support multimodal transportation,” Gardner said. “As a result it helps us get the needed infrastructure investment that will allow our ports to continue to grow and serve the people of Maine.”
Registered voters can have their voice’s heard either by voting in person on Nov. 2, or by using an absentee ballot.