Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) Commissioner David Cole announced Feb. 2 that MaineDOT is set to begin a series of bridge improvements in the Bangor area. Cole asked for the public’s cooperation and patience as some of the bridge repairs and replacements have already begun. The total investment into the Bangor area transportation infrastructure exceeds $14 million.
Scheduled projects include:
• Hammond Street Bridge over I-95 — This $4.8 million project has begun and includes full replacement of the current bridge. Construction will continue through May 2010. The work will require lane shifts on the bridge, ramp closures and occasional overnight closures of that section of I-95. If headed westerly on the bridge, motorists should be aware that the southbound ramp onto I-95 will be closed for the duration of the project.
• Etna Bridge on I-95 crossing over Route 143 — Repair work on this bridge also has begun, with completion anticipated in November 2009. This $4.3 million project will require reduced speeds to 45 mph on the interstate. One lane of traffic will be maintained both north and southbound on I-95.
• I-95 Bridge crossing over I-395 — This project includes deck replacement and concrete abutment repair. The abutment work begins in March and will take approximately 12 weeks. Wide loads will need to use detours and various ramps will be closed. The deck replacement work will start April 1st and continue through July 4th and will cost $2.1 million. There will be lane closures on I-95 as construction progresses.
• Penobscot Bridge — Starting in May, crews will be replacing the travel surface on the approach spans to the bridge, first grinding out the old surface, and then installing new concrete. This surface replacement cost will be $200,000.
• Veterans Bridge — The deteriorating concrete and some of the existing joints will be replaced on this I-395 bridge that spans the Penobscot.
• Cold Brook Road Bridge — Crews will be replacing the deck on the bridge, and plan to begin construction in early July, after repairs to the I-395 overpass bridge are complete. This deck replacement project will cost $500,000.
• Bangor Red Bridge over Penjajawoc Brook on Route 2 — This bridge will be replaced at the cost of $750,000. Construction is expected to commence in July.
Cole asked for the public’s cooperation and urged drivers to heed all posted speed limits since fines are doubled in work zone areas. In addition, he cautioned drivers using GPS equipment to be aware that these devices do not alert motorists to construction areas so those motorists need to also be alert for lane shifts, ramp closures and detours.
Cole stated that MaineDOT will keep the public updated throughout the course of these projects through e-mail alerts and with up-to-the-minute information on specific projects and alternate routes at www.MaineDOT.gov.