Work continues beneath rebuilt Bath viaduct

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BATH — Although the viaduct that carries U.S. Route 1 over the heart of the city opened weeks ahead of schedule in May, work on the streets below won’t likely wrap up until the end of this month.

Work continues on granite curbing and concrete cobblestones; construction and paving of sidewalks between Washington and High streets; grading and paving of medians; adjusting catch basins, and preparation of landscaping beneath the viaduct, according to Glenn Philbrook, Maine Department of Transportation resident engineer.

Surface paving of cross streets under the bridge was scheduled for nights this week, with landscaping due to begin Monday, July 17.

Philbrook said in an interview July 10 that he thinks all the work will be complete by the end of July.

The DOT is overseeing the plantings between Washington and Front streets, while the city will handle the greenery from Washington to Franklin streets, he said.

Reed & Reed, the Woolwich-based company doing the work, also rebuilt the viaduct. Its efficiency in the earlier project paid off, since the firm’s contract with DOT included an incentive of $20,000 for each day the project was completed ahead of schedule.

The company this time does not have an incentive to finish early, but still faces a penalty if completion is late, Philbrook said. Reed & Reed has until Aug. 15 to wrap up the work.

The total construction cost for the new viaduct, designed to last 75-100 years, has been about $14 million, which includes funds for the ground-level work. Federal and state funds have gone into the project.

Another $150,000 has gone toward repairs to the High Street bridge, as well as an extra $150,000 for additional sidewalk work, Philbrook said.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

Landscaping under the rebuilt Bath viaduct is due to begin Monday, July 17. Cobblestones are among the aesthetic improvements.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.