After an inspection by the Maine DOT in mid-September, the Frank J. Wood Bridge on Route 201 between Brunswick and Topsham is having its weight limit lowered.

According to the Maine DOT, engineers found severe section loss on the steel-truss bridge that first opened in 1932. They determined that in order to assure the bridge is safe for vehicles, that the maximum weight limit should be lowered.

The current weight limit is 25 tons on the Frank J. Wood Bridge, but on Monday, October 25th, the posted limit will be reduced to 10 tons. That means vehicles such as fire engines, school buses, and box trucks are going to need to take another route to cross over the Androscoggin River. Drivers of those vehicles and others of 10 tons, will need to take the Route 1 bypass to the end of Route 196.

 

The bridge is scheduled to be replaced but has been met with a lot of resistance from a group that would like to see it rehabilitated rather than replaced. Friends of the Frank J. Wood Bridge, the National Trust for Historic Preservation in the United States, and the Historic Bridge Foundation filed a lawsuit against the Maine Department of Transportation in 2019 to stop the bridge from being replaced.

The Maine DOT plans to move forward with the new bridge, however, saying the construction contract is scheduled to go out to bid as soon as practicable.

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