Reed & Reed Inc. Tackles Dual Bridge Demolition, Replacement Project

📅   Mon May 21, 2012 - Northeast Edition

Currently, there are two crews working on-site. The field personnel include crane operators, laborers, carpenters, foremen and a superintendent.
Currently, there are two crews working on-site. The field personnel include crane operators, laborers, carpenters, foremen and a superintendent.

Reed & Reed Inc., Woolwich, Maine, hit the ground running in January to remove and replace two steel bridges called Cumberland Mills West and Cumberland Mills East.

The bridges, in the heart of this mill area, carry a very high volume of traffic.

Crews have been on-site since Jan. 9 for the project, which was bid on Nov. 9 at an estimated cost of just under $5 million.

“The scope [of the project] includes the removal of two bridges. This includes demolishing the existing concrete sidewalks, railings, deck and abutments,” said Senior Project Manager Ted Clark of Reed & Reed Inc. “We have to remove the steel beams, 10 in total, that weigh over 200,000 pounds, all of which will be recycled. Over 1,000 cubic yards of concrete will be demolished and hauled off to be recycled.”

To deflect heavy traffic while the old bridges come down, the general contractor must implement other routes for cars to commute and travel with no interruption of bridge work.

“Reed & Reed will have to design and construct a traffic detour that allows us to demolish and construct the two new bridges and not interrupt the traffic flow. This approach is particularly important on such a busy, arterial road that carries over 16,000 vehicles per day,” added Clark.

Clark said that each bridge abutment will be built through the use of a cofferdam that allows Reed & Reed to de-water and eliminate the difficulty of working under water.

100 Tons of Steel

The two new bridges will have six steel girders each; there will be more than 200,000 lbs. (90,718 kg) of steel that will form the superstructure portion of the bridges. Another 170,000 lbs. (77,110 kg) of steel will be used for reinforcing the concrete, added the project manager.

Beyond the 16,000 cars, dozens of new trucks will enter the region to do the job.

“[Some] 300 truckloads or 3,000-plus cubic yards of concrete will be brought to the site and incorporated into the two bridges and the project,” said Clark. “Currently, we have two crews working on-site. Our field personnel include crane operators, laborers, carpenters, foremen and a superintendent.

“Our on-site superintendent, Jack Turner, leads our field efforts and is responsible for our field crews and our subcontractors,” he added.

Senior Project Manager Clark has worked for the company for 30 years. He is responsible for meeting the company’s schedule and budget commitments, and maintaining a positive relationship with Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT).

Major Subs

Some major subcontractors play an important role in Reed & Reed Inc. projects. These include Shaw Brothers (site earthwork), Mainline Fence (guardrail and fencing), AD Rossi (bridge rail), ARC (structural steel girders), Barker Steel (reinforcing steel), Stallion Steel (tying reinforcing steel) and Peter Lyford (landscaping).

The contractor, knowing how marshlands, wetlands, water and other off-road concerns are a part of virtually every major highway or bridge project in Maine, has addressed environmental issues surrounding Cumberland Mills.

“Reed & Reed works in environmentally sensitive areas constantly since many of our projects are located in remote, pristine areas of the state or in and around water,” said Clark. “We take our responsibilities concerning the environment very seriously.

“This requires up-front planning by our teams where we identify the environmental risks and determine the best approach and tools to minimize any environmental risk,” he added. “Some of our more standard tools include erosion control measures, silt booms and using vegetable oil in lieu of hydraulic oil in case there is a leak from one of our machines.”

The project is located in Westbrook across from Sappi Fine Paper on Warren Avenue.

The estimated completion date is June 2014 and the company said it will be on time and on budget.

“We see no identifiable issues that will get in the way of meeting our obligations with MDOT,” said Clark.

Other Major Projects

Reed & Reed Inc.’s main office is located in Woolwich, Maine. The contractor operates all of its activities — construction, personnel, materials and equipment — out of its headquarters location.

Two of its largest and more recent projects include Kibby Wind and Veteran’s Memorial Bridge projects.

The Kibby Wind Project is the largest wind development program in Maine. It is located in Stratton and has 44 turbines with a capacity of 132 megawatts.

“We are currently constructing the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge, a $63 million design/build project that connects Portland with South Portland,” said CEO and President Jack Parker.

Reed & Reed was founded in 1928 as a heavy civil contract that specialized in bridge construction. Over the years and through four generations of family leadership the company has grown, leveraging its strengths of people, technical knowledge and equipment. Today, the company constructs wind energy and marine projects in addition to its core bridge work. Currently, it employs more than 200 people.

“What truly stands out at Reed & Reed are its family-driven culture and its people. Our field people are experienced, knowledgeable and creative as to their approach to work,” added Parker. “These are the people who form and place concrete, perform critical lifts with large cranes and put these projects together. Most of the work we do with our own forces and is not subcontracted out to others.

“There is a loyalty that has been formed over the years resulting in many employees staying with Reed & Reed for 20, 30 and over 40 years. One rarely observes this phenomenon in today’s work world. Our construction field staff is simply the best,” he said.

One of the company’s most unusual projects occurred last year as a result of Hurricane Irene.

The storm caused flooding that collapsed two bridges near Carrabassett Valley Academy and the entrance to Sugarloaf on Route 27. This state road provides a critical access that links Quebec, northern logging and the Sugarloaf Ski Resort with the southern part of the state.

The MDOT selected Reed & Reed over several other contractors based on its ability to execute. Its mission and commitment included designing and constructing two temporary bridges in seven days.

“We took one day to plan, one day to mobilize and five days to construct,” said Parker. “The two temporary bridges were opened at 8 p.m. on the seventh day. This effort was gigantic. Over 50 truckloads were required to move cranes, pile hammers, equipment, temporary bridge materials and traffic control devices.”

More than 35 Reed & Reed staff members were involved, as well as several subcontractors and suppliers.

“The two permanent replacement bridges were designed and constructed within 93 days, which is amazing,” added Parker “The Maine Department of Transportation played a critical role in the design and approval process and deserves a lot of credit for the success of the project.”

For more information, visit or call 207/443-9747.