Higher than expected bids may lead to cuts in road work throughout the state

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - The Maine Department of Transportation commissioner is warning that higher-than-expected bids will mean tens of millions of dollars in cuts on road work. Transportation Commissioner Bruce Van Note recently told lawmakers he's already had to reject three projects. That includes a Portland project whose lowest bid was $1.1 million, which is more than double the estimated amount.

Republicans are urging lawmakers to use additional revenues to fill the gap.

Van Note says overall bids are about 30% higher than last year. He says that's despite a 10% increase in the estimated price of projects.

The commissioner says workforce availability may be a root cause of high bids.

He says he expects to release a longer list of eliminated highway reconstruction, bridges and paving projects in the week of May 6.