MDOT Moves Ahead with Plan to Replace Bridge Between Topsham and Brunswick
The Frank J. Wood bridge was built in 1932 to span the Androscoggin River between Brunswick and Topsham. Like many bridges in Maine, it has begun to deteriorate to the point where a new bridge is needed.
In September of 2017, the Brunswick-Topsham Bridge Design Advisory released some artist renderings of what the new bridge might look like.
The new bridge would feature decorative lamp posts, wide pedestrian sidewalks with scenic overlooks and bike lanes making it much more accessible that the current bridge and a lot more attractive.
The design of the modern bridge also opens up the view of the area around the river. The tall, green, steel beams would no longer obstruct the view.
Construction was to begin in 2019 at a cost of $13 million. That price has now gone up to $33 million but has been held up after a lawsuit was filed by a group of people wanting to restore the bridge rather than replace it.
According to News Center Maine, the Maine DOT announced on Tuesday, July 26, that they are moving forward with the replacement of the bridge after they found that the cost of restoring the bridge would be much more expensive than replacing it. The investigation into the cost was ordered by a federal appeals court. The ruling in the lawsuit is expected to be released by the Maine DOT on Wednesday.
Bids will go out for the construction of the new bridge this summer or early fall, and after a construction company is selected, work on the new bridge can proceed.
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