MaineDOT crews will begin preliminary repairs to the Barter’s Island Bridge in Boothbay, starting this week. The repair work is needed because of accelerated corrosion on the bridge’s support beams. The drawbridge spans the Back River, connects Hodgdon and Barter’s Islands, and opens for marine traffic in the summer months.
A recent bridge inspection by MaineDOT engineers revealed severe rust on several steel support members of the bridge. Unless these beams are replaced, traffic over the bridge would be limited to small vehicles, and the bridge would not be able to open for marine traffic. By starting work immediately, crews will be able to finish the repairs prior to opening the bridge to boating traffic on May 30. Crews will start preparation work this week, and will begin actual repairs starting next week, the week of March 23. If work proceeds as planned, and there are no unanticipated delays, the work should be completed by May 15.
During construction, the bridge will remain open to two-way traffic. However, there will be occasional lane closures, which will reduce to the bridge to alternating, one-way traffic. During the construction period, there will also be several complete closures, which will require the bridge to remain closed to vehicle traffic for two hours. Prior to these closures, MaineDOT will use a variety of methods to alert the public of the upcoming closures so that motorists can plan ahead.
There will be staging under the bridge to facilitate repairs, and this will obstruct part of the channel next to the center pier of the bridge on the Barter’s Island side. Lights will be placed on the staging to alert boaters.
The Barter’s Island Bridge was built in 1931. On average, approximately 1,100 vehicles a day use the bridge.
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