- Associated Press - Thursday, January 7, 2016

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine Transportation Commissioner David Bernhardt is declining to reverse course on a decision to let a Florida company operate the Casco Bay Bridge.

Bernhardt told the Legislature’s Transportation Committee on Thursday that MDOT intends to sign the contract next week with Miami-based FDI Services Inc., which will operate the bridge and perform routine maintenance.

The contract represents the first time the state has turned over the operations of a bridge to a private company.

Critics wanted Bernhardt to delay the contract to operate the drawbridge between Portland and South Portland.

Andrew McLean, House chairman of the committee, called it an “unprecedented move” that shouldn’t have been taken without legislative scrutiny. He cited implications for “public safety, transparency and fiscal responsibility.

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