Brunswick-Topsham bridge among 'Most Endangered Historic Places'

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BRUNSWICK — Maine Preservation, a statewide nonprofit organization, has included the Frank J. Wood Bridge on its annual list of the state’s Most Endangered Historic Places.

“Constructed in 1932, this bridge spans 805 feet over the Androscoggin River and currently serves approximately 19,000 vehicles per day as well as pedestrian traffic. It is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places and is a good example of a three-span Warren Truss system – a type of bridge once common in Maine and now increasingly rare,” the organization said in a press release.

The designation arrived as state and federal agencies are reviewing whether to replace the 85-year-old Brunswick-Topsham crossing with a steel girder bridge. A local group, Friends of the Frank J. Wood Bridge, has opposed those plans for more than a year, urging the state to instead rehabilitate the bridge.

Though it has no official bearing on the state and federal review process, the Maine Preservation press release affirmed the Friends’ position and their cause, even citing them by name.

“Given the level of public interest and concern, the significant loss of historic bridges in Maine and a clear and financially responsible reuse option for this historic bridge, it is essential that MDOT accurately and fairly consider rehabilitation of this local landmark,” the organization said.

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  • Chew H Bird

    Age should not determine historic status. This group is doing everything possible to add additional short and long term costs to the needed replacement of critical transportation infrastructure.

    • Paul Whitcomb

      The paper mill floundered and closed within ten years of opening in the 1860’s. This makes the W.P.A.-project bridge historic? I don’t think so.

  • TaxiManSteve

    Well, the experts have spoken. They make a compelling case. Will we listen to them?