The existing bridge is more than 90 years old. It is fracture critical and rated in poor condition. Since November 2021, MaineDOT has prohibited all commercial traffic from using the current bridge. While bridges are normally inspected every two years, the Frank J. Wood bridge is inspected every six months to allow for more frequent analysis of its condition and the potential need for further traffic or weight restrictions.
The replacement bridge will improve safety and reliability for the surrounding communities. The new bridge will be located on a curved upstream alignment and will feature enhancements requested by a local design advisory committee. Designed to last for at least 100 years, the new bridge will have sidewalks on both sides (including pedestrian viewing bump-outs), wider shoulders on both sides, parks on both ends, special railings, lighting, and other design details, and unobstructed views of the natural and architectural features of the surrounding Pejepscot Falls site.
Subject to inspections and restrictions of the existing bridge, the new bridge project is not expected to have any significant impacts to motorists until 2025. If the work proceeds as planned, all work associated with the construction contract is scheduled to be finished in late 2026, but the new bridge is expected to be open to traffic earlier than that.
The contractor on this project is Reed & Reed, Inc. of Woolwich. The contract amount is $49,869,767.