HODGDON, Maine — Construction is proceeding on schedule for the bridge replacement project near the Hodgdon Mills dam and so far the disruption has not negatively affected residents or businesses.
Contractors recently built a temporary, one-way bridge for traffic, complete with traffic lights, and removed the previous structure so they could access its base. The original bridge was constructed in 1933 and at 86 years of age was well beyond its lifespan.
“Typical bridges are designed for a 75-year lifespan, so this bridge was beyond that,” said Paul Merrill, public information officer for the Maine Department of Transportation. “Information that MaineDOT gathers during routine inspections of our bridges regarding the general condition of the individual bridge components typically helps the department make decisions regarding repairs and replacements.”
For the Hodgdon bridge, many parts were given poor ratings.
“The deteriorating condition combined with the narrow width of the structure led the department to the decision to replace the structure to assist with lowering the amount of required maintenance and providing an up-to-date design to handle the flow of traffic and better meet the needs of the community,” Merrill said.
An issue with bedrock put the project slightly behind schedule during the initial phases. Since activating the temporary detour and putting traffic across the temporary bridge, crews have completed structural excavation and rock excavation for both abutments. The crew has also placed concrete seals on bedrock at both abutments and have a footing placed for one abutment.
Work continues on tying rebar and constructing formwork for the abutments, Merrill said.
Megan Anderson, owner of Anderson’s Mill Pond Dairy Bar, said the construction has not had any negative impact on their business. The dairy bar is located just a short distance from the bridge construction.
“I don’t believe that it’s slowed us down a whole lot,” she said. “Traffic seems to flow pretty smoothly and the construction crew is usually gone before any supper rush that we get. As long as the sun will stay out people need their ice cream.”
The estimated completion date of this work is June 20, 2020.