YARMOUTH — The Route 1 bridge over Main Street is expected to be replaced no later than the spring of 2019.
The Maine Department of Transportation held a public hearing June 21 to discuss the $4.9 million project. Construction is expected to begin next summer.
The aging structure is being replaced with a three-span, cast-in-place flat-arch superstructure. The Town Council voted in December 2014 to keep the bridge after MDOT asked the town to consider what course of action to take.
Other options included removing the bridge and bringing Route 1 down to Main Street to create a four-way intersection.
The bridge will be narrowed to two lanes to slow traffic, and on the side facing the Log Cabin on Main Street, there will be a 5-foot wide sidewalk and a 10-foot wide multi-use path.
The plan was recommended to the council in February by the Route 1 Bridge Advisory Committee. Councilors approved the plan a couple of weeks later and Town Manager Nat Tupper then executed an agreement with the state.
Between funds from MDOT and grants the town has received, the town will be responsible for almost $257,000. In February councilors said they think they can pay for the new project without raising taxes.
Leanne Timberlake, a project manager for MDOT, said around 4o people attended the June 21 public hearing. The meeting was held to update residents on the plan, she said, and is required for MDOT projects.
“Everybody seemed really supportive,” Timberlake said. “There were some questions at first, but overall it was well received.”
Timberlake said the project will go to bid early next year and construction will begin after the 2017 clam festival, which happens every July. She said work will continue through the following year, but will pause during the 2018 clam festival.
The bridge should be completed by the end of 2018 or by the spring of 2019.
Traffic delays will be kept to a minimum by only closing one lane of the bridge at a time during construction. The clearance underneath the bridge, which is 14 feet, 7 inches, will be reduced to 11 feet during construction, Timberlake said. This means taller trucks will have to detour around the bridge.
The new bridge will have a clearance of 15 feet 6 inches.
The replacement of Yarmouth’s aging Route 1 bridge over Main Street is expected to be done by spring 2019 at the latest.