- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 6, 2016

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Maine’s Department of Transportation will be able to improve infrastructure and technology at the Port of Portland with a federal grant of more than $7.7 million.

Port of Portland is the largest port in New England by tonnage and an international transportation hub. The department will use the money to upgrade the Maine Intermodal Port Productivity Project, U.S. Sen. Angus King said.

The goal of the project is to improve infrastructure at the port and address issues with capacity. Improvements will include the construction of a highway and rail crossing upgrade, the removal of an existing maintenance facility and the rehabilitation of the wharf.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, who worked to secure the money and is the chairwoman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies appropriations subcommittee, said the money will help make the port more competitive and create jobs.

“This major seaport is utilized daily by businesses and customers across our state, including L.L. Bean, Poland Spring water, and Aroostook potato growers,” Collins said.

The grant will cover about half of the total cost of the upgrade project. King, an Independent, says the rest of the money is from non-federal sources.

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