OLD TOWN, Maine — The Maine Division of Transportation might use progressive building supplies designed to final greater than 100 years when it replaces a deteriorating bridge in Previous City subsequent 12 months.
The Maine DOT plans to put in a short lived, two-way bridge forward of changing the Llewellyn G. Estes Memorial Bridge in 2024, division spokesperson Paul Merrill mentioned. The design group is exploring using GBeams from Brewer-based producer Superior Infrastructure Applied sciences, that are fiber-reinforced polymer bridge beams, he mentioned.
The bridge is greater than 70 years outdated and thought of structurally poor. When it closed for a part of a day earlier this month as a result of a utility pole leaning over the bridge brought about security considerations, space residents questioned if the alternative mission date would transfer up.
Whereas the alternative mission remains to be slated for 2024, folks can anticipate that set up of the short-term bridge will start in July and lengthen into late fall. If Superior Infrastructure Applied sciences’ composite beams are used, it will comply with initiatives like alternative of the Grist Mill Bridge in Hampden, which was the primary within the nation to make use of the know-how.
The bridge, which consists of two buildings that carry Stillwater Avenue throughout the Stillwater River, was slated for alternative as a part of a multi-year, $20 million mission.
The division rejected all bids final April after they got here in practically double the budgeted quantity, delaying the mission about two years. It determined to separate the bridge alternative from different highway work.
The alternative bridge design is in progress, so a value estimate was not accessible Friday.
GBeams are designed to final many years longer than conventional metal and concrete buildings, are proof against corrosion and require little upkeep, in keeping with the corporate, which developed the know-how with College of Maine researchers.
The fabric can also be extra environmentally pleasant and lighter, making it cheaper to move in addition to simpler to work with.
Since building of the Hampden bridge wrapped up in late 2020, AIT has accomplished units of GBeams for initiatives in Maine, Florida and Rhode Island, and is engaged on others on the West Coast, in keeping with its web site.
“Drivers and pedestrians will be capable to use the short-term bridge throughout building,” Merrill mentioned. “The short-term bridge can be eliminated after the proposed bridge is opened to visitors.”
The beforehand marketed bridge building bundle additionally included a short lived bridge, he mentioned.
Elements of Previous City’s bridge have been deteriorating for years, however Maine transportation officers mentioned final summer season it was nonetheless protected for many to drive over regardless of its poor situation.
A 30-ton weight restriction was added to the bridge’s northernmost span final July.
Merrill mentioned on the time that the load restrict wouldn’t have an effect on fireplace engines, faculty buses, oil supply vehicles and most native supply vehicles. However logging vehicles carrying wooden harvested within the state need to take a detour, which makes the trail to market longer and costlier.
Metropolis Supervisor Invoice Mayo, metropolis councilors and others advocated for a short lived bridge shortly after the load restriction was imposed as a result of it’s a main route for forest merchandise in Maine.
Woolwich-based Reed & Reed is working because the mission’s building supervisor and offering enter through the design course of. The corporate can have an opportunity to bid on the mission, based mostly on the finished design, to turn out to be the final contractor, Merrill mentioned.
Reporter Sawyer Loftus contributed to this story.