BEALS, Maine — The federal government will contribute more than $10 million to replace the bridge that connects this Washington County island community to Jonesport, according to federal officials.

Sen. Susan Collins indicated Tuesday in a statement that the U.S. Department of Transportation will award $10,525,000 in federal funding to replace the “structurally deficient” Beals Island Bridge.

Collins, chairman of the senate’s Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, said the money will be provided through U.S. DOT’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program, also known as TIGER.

“The Beals Island Bridge is the only crossing that connects the island and town of Beals with the mainland at Jonesport,” Collins said in a prepared statement. “This important funding will allow the Maine Department of Transportation to move forward in replacing the bridge, improving public safety, increasing connectivity between the island and the mainland and helping to create jobs in rural Maine.”

According to the Maine Department of Transportation, the deteriorating bridge was built in 1958 and is more than 1,000 feet long. Construction of the new bridge is expected to begin in April 2017 and to wrap up in October 2018.

Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....