Falmouth bridge projects may slow traffic

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FALMOUTH — Two bridge projects that begin this week will last into the fall and likely cause some traffic delays.

The Maine Department of Transportation is repairing Allen’s Bridge on Falmouth Road, east of Leighton Road. The bridge spans the east branch of the Piscataqua River.

Ted Talbot, MDOT spokesman, said the work will consist of replacing the wearing surface of the bridge, which is the upper layer of the bridge roadway. Wearing surfaces tend to get holes, which can be repaired individually, but Talbot said that can become expensive. He said the agency decided to instead replace the entire surface.

Talbot said the contractor is Wyman & Simpson of Richmond, and the total cost of the project is about $395,000.

Talbot said the expected completion date is Oct. 28, and traffic will be reduced to one-way, alternating traffic. Flaggers and temporary traffic signals will be employed during construction. 

Additionally, Talbot said the traffic signal is near a railway crossing, so the MDOT is advising motorists to use caution in the area.

Maine Turnpike Authority workers, meanwhile, are painting the Exit 53 Bridge that spans the turnpike.

MTA spokeswoman Erin Courtney said crews began the project last week and will likely continue for about a month. The project involves cleaning and painting all structural steel and metal.

The Exit 53 job is one of four bridge projects the MTA is working on, Courtney said, at a total cost of about $1.25 million. The contract was awarded to Saffo Contractors of Florida, she said, because there are few Maine companies that do this type of work.

Courtney said crews will work during the day on the sides of the bridge, which will not require lane closures. Work under the bridge will be done at night, and lanes will be closed as needed.

She said crews will be working six days and/or nights a week to “get it done as quickly as possible.”

Colin Ellis can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or cellis@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @colinoellis.

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Reporter covering the Portland Public School District as well as the town of Falmouth for The Forecaster. Can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or cellis@theforecaster.net.