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Portland-Falmouth Route 1 bridge plan to be discussed

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Portland-Falmouth Route 1 bridge plan to be discussed

PORTLAND — At a public meeting next week, area residents can voice their opinions about details of the planned replacement for the Martin's Point Bridge, which connects East Deering with U.S. Route 1 in Falmouth.

The Maine Department of Transportation will host the meeting Tuesday, Aug. 7, at 6 p.m. in Portland City Hall's State of Maine Room.

On the agenda are recommendations for details of the bridge's design, including landscaping around each end of the bridge, railings, lighting and fishing space.

Three weeks ago, MDOT unveiled the design, a $23.5 million plan submitted by the team of CPM Constructors of Freeport and engineering firm Vanasse Hangen Brustlin of Watertown, Mass. The plan was selected from five competing proposals.

The design calls for two traffic lanes, a pedestrian lane on the bridge's western side, a multi-use pathway on the eastern side and two "bump-outs" that will provide space for fishing.

But some specifics still need to be worked out.

Another public meeting will be held in September to discuss final details of the design, including the surface of the multi-use pathway.

The replacement bridge will be built next to the current one, which will remain open during construction and then demolished.

While the new structure will closely follow the current bridge's footprint, it will be 112 feet shorter than the current span of nearly 1,400 feet. No public or private property will be taken for the bridge, although the project will require some temporary easements, according to MDOT Project Manager Leanne Timberlake.

Construction will begin next month, and is expected to be completed in December 2014.

The current bridge, more than 70 years old, carries 15,600 vehicles a day across the Presumpscot River. The bridge was renovated in 1991, but MDOT determined in 2010 that a replacement was necessary because of the bridge's deteriorating condition.

William Hall can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or whall@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @hallwilliam4.