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Meeting sets stage for Yarmouth bridge replacement

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Meeting sets stage for Yarmouth bridge replacement

YARMOUTH — A bridge replacement planned for next year will be the subject of a public meeting hosted by the Maine Department of Transportation.

The proposed $1.5 million project will replace the support beams and road deck of the North Elm Bridge that spans the Royal River on East Elm Street. The project will last four to five months and the bridge will be closed for the "lion's share of that time," MaineDOT Project Manager Leanne Timberlake said.

Replacement of the 100-foot-long bridge will take place in 2014, but a start date hasn't been selected. The project will not affect the Yarmouth Clam Festival, Timberlake said.

The public meeting begins at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, in the Community Room at Yarmouth Town Hall, 200 Main St.

The meeting, which is customary for projects like this one, is meant to inform the public and generate feedback, Timberlake said.

"We want buy-in on what we're proposing, including how we're maintaining traffic and the timing of construction," she said.

During periods when the bridge is closed, traffic will be routed through a 2.7-mile detour that includes Melissa Drive, Timberlake said.

The construction will widen the bridge deck by two feet, from 24 feet to 26 feet wide. It will also raise the pedestrian rails to 46 inches, and move the sidewalk from one side of the bridge to the other to align with the sidewalks on land. The bridge's existing abutments will serve as the foundation for the new superstructure, Timberlake said.

The project will be funded with a mix of federal and state dollars. There will be no local share of the cost, Timberlake said.

Any questions about the project can be directed to Timberlake at 624-3422 or leanne.timberlake@maine.gov.

Ben McCanna can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or bmccanna@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @BenMcCanna.