State ready to seek bids for new Scarborough bridge

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SCARBOROUGH — Nearly 50 Pine Point residents Tuesday got a last look at plans for the Pine Point Crossing Bridge replacement, which will include a temporary bridge to continue two-lane traffic.

The two-lane bridge, which spans the Pam Am railroad tracks, is nearly 60 years old. The town has held several forums in recent years for residents to air concerns about the project, and Andrew Lathe, Maine Department of Transportation assistant project manager, said Tuesday’s session at the Municipal Building would be the last public meeting before the project goes out to bid.

In response to prior concerns about traffic if the bridge were closed, the design now includes construction of a temporary, two-lane span and sidewalk around the existing one. The temporary bridge will allow full use of the road throughout construction.

Construction of the temporary bridge is expected to begin in the fall of 2015. Once the temporary bridge is complete, crews will begin demolishing the existing bridge, and construction on the new bridge would begin in the summer of 2016.

Project managers said the project will take about 18 months to complete, and construction must halt every time a train passes along the railroad underneath. The project will stretch along Pine Point Road from Bickford Street almost to Snow Canning Road, and will include reconstruction of a portion of Holly Street.

The new bridge itself will be a two-span structure, with increased clearance over the railroad. Sidewalks are not included in the final bridge design, but the bridge roadway will have shoulders with width equal to those along the rest of Pine Point Road. 

The original estimated project cost was $3.2 million, but changes to the design and the temporary bridge have pushed the cost estimate to $3.9 million. Lathe said the project is considered a high priority and will be paid for with state and federal funds.

Lathe also said the construction will temporarily intrude on up to 2,100 square feet of marsh and wetlands, but crews will “try to stay out as much as possible.”

Residents on Tuesday were still concerned mostly with the impact of traffic, night work, and how much construction would encroach on their properties. 

Stan Bayley, of Bayley’s Seafood, urged designers to make sure the temporary bridge can support his trailer trucks. 

Lathe promised to address concerns individually, if necessary, but said most construction issues would be best left to the project contractors. 

“We don’t want the owners of the project, the paying public, to be disappointed in the project or the process,” he said prior to the meeting.

The MDOT is still accepting public input on the bridge plans for the final design. Lathe can be reached at andrew.w.lathe@maine.gov or 441-7362. 

Shelby Carignan can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or scarignan@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @shelbycarignan.

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