Collins, King urge investment in new technologies

Sen. Susan Collins
Sen. Susan Collins | The Office of Sen. Susan Collins
U.S. Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) last week called for the transportation reauthorization bill to include technology provisions focused on improving the country's rapidly aging infrastructure.

In a letter sent to Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CO), the committee's ranking member, Collins and King requested that the reauthorization bill include funding to create a $10 million national research initiative for Hybrid Composites in Transportation.

“In 2013, 11 percent, or 66,405, of our nation’s bridges were structurally deficient," the duo noted. "In 10 years, one in four bridges will be 65 years or older; repairing this infrastructure would cost $76 billion.”

Collins and King pointed out that new hybrid composite technologies could reduce costs as well as "reduce replacement time, and strengthen local manufacturing jobs."

"This national research initiative would focus its research and development efforts on concrete-composite bridge systems and manufacturing technologies that reduce cost and time, and extend the life of existing bridges," the lawmakers wrote. "These technologies address the growing needs to accelerate the adoption of proven, high-payoff, and innovative practices, technologies, and materials that lead to faster construction and cost-effective rehabilitation of efficient and safe bridges."

The full text of the letter can be found at

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U.S. Senator Susan Collins

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