The first support tower of the gantry system was installed on centerline pier.
The Ticonic Bridge, which crosses Route 201 over the Kennebec River at the Waterville-Winslow town line is being replaced on alignment, with a new two span, steel girder with concrete bridge deck structure.
A single concrete pier will be built in the river to support the new bridge, according to Maine Department of Transportation.
Cianbro of Pittsfield, Maine, is the lead contractor on the project, which has a budget of $52.8 million with $25 million coming from a Federal Highway Administration grant.
The current Ticonic Bridge's concrete arch dates to the early 20th century, when the bridge carried a trolley line. Other sections of the 113-year-old bridge were replaced in 1936 after a flood washed away the original steel truss. The bridge was further widened in 1970.
The current bridge has deteriorated to the point that the end of its useful life is near. Further attempts to repair or rehabilitate it will not restore the full integrity of the bridge to meet modern safety standards, Maine DOT reported.
The new bridge will be made of steel girders with a concrete bridge deck. Like the existing bridge, the new bridge will carry five lanes of traffic.
So far, Cianbro has removed the bridge beams and completed demolition of the south abutment and piers. Cianbro is currently working on demolishing the northern abutment while also reconstructing the south abutment and piers, according to Maine DOT.
In a month-by-month review of the construction work being done, Maine DOT wrote that in April, "The contractor installed construction signs and performed the general project survey layout. Jersey barriers began to be delivered to the project." In May, "Bridge curbs in the median continued being removed with a mini hoe-ram and concrete demo began being removed. Utility test pits were dug to determine the exact location and condition of existing utilities. Bridge deck began being saw cut for 3-ft.-6-in. wide utility access with concrete slabs attempting to be removed. CCI Waterville concrete vault was excavated on the south side for installation of new duct bank."
Beyond the traditional demands of a multi-million-dollar endeavor of this kind, additional factors are inherent in this project making it particularly challenging and difficult, Maine DOT said. The design and construction must be undertaken in ways that are responsive to these challenges while continuing to minimize project impacts.
For instance, the riverbanks are steep and water levels vary widely throughout the year creating a complex set of factors to be dealt with during construction. Although the Kennebec River is not a commercial waterway, it is a critical habitat for Atlantic salmon and Shortnose sturgeon populations during spawning season, therefore contractor work will be restricted so that no work will be done in the waterway during the late spring and summer months. Finally, because there are numerous electricity, cable, telephone and water utilities located along the bridge, special measures will be taken to relocate these facilities in a manner that maintains operability at all times during construction.
Maine DOT noted that when completed, the new bridge will introduce streetscape features to promote walking and bicycling and improve the quality of life downtown. The new bridge will feature 5-ft. shoulders to accommodate bicycles, as well as 6-ft. sidewalks for pedestrians. It will have safe modern bridge rails that meet crashworthy standards, will include architectural lighting and feature corrosion resistant construction materials that will stand the test of time. The new Ticonic Bridge represents a move forward for the continued vitality of Waterville and Winslow, and the surrounding communities.
Construction began in April 2023 and is scheduled for completion in May 2027. CEG
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