School Buses and Fire Engines Can No Longer Take This Brunswick/Topsham Bridge
You might want to avoid it too.
The Maine Department of Transportation will have new weight restrictions on the Frank J. Wood Bridge starting Monday, October 25th. The bridge, which carries Route 201 between Brunswick and Topsham, will stay open both ways, but big vehicles can't use it. We're talking any vehicle that weighs more than ten tons. What weighs more than 20,000 pounds? Fire engines, school buses, and box trucks won't be able to use the bridge. They will be able to use the Route 1 Bypass as a detour route.
This is due to an inspection that happened in mid-September. That inspection found 'severe section loss' on the 90-year-old bridge.
MaineDOT bridge engineers met to figure out what to do and engineers thought for safety reasons, the weight limit needed to be lowered.
The Frank J. Wood Bridge is considered a 'fracture critical bridge'. For those bridges, the Federal Highway Administration says that inspections should happen at least every two years. Based on the last inspection, MaineDOT engineers will do inspections every six months.
The bridge is scheduled to be replaced. There's no actual timeline for that, but according to the MaineDOT, the construction contract will go out to bid 'as soon as practicable.' In the meantime, that Route 1 Bypass is open to anyone who would like to use it.