Falmouth bridges under scrutiny this summer

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FALMOUTH — The Mountain and Leighton Road bridges will undergo repairs and rehabilitation this summer as a part of a three-bridge project conducted by the Maine Department of Transportation.

And next week, DOT is hosting a public meeting in Portland to discuss the proposed replacement of the Martin’s Point Bridge.

According to Dan Morin, public relations manager for the DOT, nearly all of the 176 bridges along the Maine Turnpike were built between 1946 and 1955. He also said that, generally, bridges have a lifespan of about 50-70 years.

The Mountain Road bridge will be closed from July 9 until approximately Aug. 25, Morin said. During that time it will undergo general maintenance repairs and modifications.

“The associated work includes pavement and membrane replacement; concrete deck overhangs; pier and abutment repairs; bridge joint replacements; bridge drain replacements and concrete protective coating,” Morin said.

While the bridge is closed, the clearance underneath will also be raised so Maine Turnpike traffic can safely pass below.

The work on the Leighton Road bridge will be similar to that planned for the Mountain Road bridge and will start after the work on Mountain Road is completed.

Traffic will be allowed on Leighton Road while the work is being done on the Mountain Road bridge and vice versa. Brook Road will be the major detour for both routes.

The cost for the entire three-bridge project, which includes the Hunts Hill Road bridge in Gray, is just over $1 million. The work is being completed by Lane Construction Corporation of Bangor.

DOT received five proposals for the Martin’s Point bridge work, according to Leanne Timberlake, project manager in Maine DOT bridge program. The winning proposal came from CPM Constructors/Vanasse Hangen Brustlin. The estimated cost for the project will be $23.4 million.

The bridge, which carries U.S. Route 1 between Portland and Falmouth, will not be closed to traffic during construction. Timberlake said that two lanes of traffic plus a five-foot section of sidewalk will be open for use during the course of the project.

She also said that she does not expect work on the project to start until the fall.

“Because it is a design-build (project) they have to finish the designs first, the right of way has to be taken and permits need to be finalized,” Timberlake said.

The Tuesday, July 10, meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the State of Maine Room at Portland City Hall, 389 Congress St.

Amber Cronin can be reached at acronin@theforecaster.net or 781-3661 ext. 125. Follow her on Twitter @croninamber.