Senate Considers Funding for Heavy Trucks on Maine Highway 

Catherine Pegram

A federal pilot project that allows heavy trucks up to 100-thousand pounds to stay on the highway throughout Maine could be extended. The program’s been spear headed by Senator Susan Collins and is set to expire Thursday at midnight.Collins says she’s now convinced the Senate Appropriations Committee to include support for the program for another year in a federal funding bill. Last week House lawmakers did not include a provision for it in their version of a budget bill, effectively killing the project. Collins says the program has saved Maine businesses shipping costs by allowing trucks heavier than 80-thousand pounds to travel on the highway north of Augusta. She says it’s also improved safety by keeping those trucks off secondary roads and out of many communities. The Senate is expected to take up its funding bill later this week.