This May 28, 2019, photo shows the view of Attean Pond from a roadside rest area in Jackman. Central Maine Power's controversial hydropower transmission corridor would in the vicinity of this view. It would extend 53 miles from the Canadian border into Maine's north woods. CMP would clear a 150-foot swath of land 7 to 12 miles from this viewpoint. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty | AP

The New England Clean Energy Connect is buying nearly 50,000 heavy duty mats to be placed on the ground during construction of the 145-mile power transmission corridor.

A $7 million contract announced Friday for 17,000 mats will be divided among four Maine companies. An additional 30,000 mats were recently purchased from Maine contractors at a cost of $12 million. The mats will be used to create portable roads during the construction phase.

Last week, the Central Maine Power-led project announced the award of more than $300 million in contracts for upgrading transmission lines and clearing land.

The project is moving forward even though there are a few pending regulatory approvals, along with the prospect of a statewide vote.

The proposal calls for a transmission line to bring 1,200 megawatts of electricity from Hydro-Quebec to the New England power grid.

Most of the transmission line would follow established utility corridors, but a new swath would be cut through 53 miles of wilderness owned by CMP in western Maine.