International Bridge News and Updates
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Project Updates

Select an update below to view details.

7/7/2021
  • Temporary work trestle and access road construction.
  • Installation of granular borrow and heavy riprap.
3/29/2021

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT), in cooperation with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), and in coordination with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), announced the availability of the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS) / Final Programmatic Section 4(f) Evaluation assessing the potential impacts of a proposed new U.S. Land Port of Entry (LPOE) in Madawaska and an International Bridge project between Madawaska and Edmundston.

The FSEIS identified the GSA's Preferred Alternative for the new U.S. LPOE and the FHWA's and MaineDOT's Preferred Alternative for the International Bridge location and design and why they were identified over the other alternatives considered. It described the potential environmental impacts and mitigation measures and other commitments and addresses comments received on the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement/Draft Programmatic Section 4(f) Evaluation issued on November 26, 2018.

The GSA's Preferred Alternative for the LPOE is Alternative C from the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) with inbound and outbound access to Mill Street. The FHWA's and MaineDOT's Preferred Alternative for the International Bridge is Alternative 2 from the DSEIS with a bridge anticipated to have six spans and five piers. The Preferred Alternatives for the LPOE and International Bridge will continue to evolve as the design for both progresses.

The GSA and FHWA accepted comments on the FSEIS / Final Programmatic Section 4(f) Evaluation until November 4, 2019.

On February 13, 2020, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT), in cooperation with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), and in coordination with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), published a Record of Decision (ROD) completing the National Environmental Policy Act process. The ROD summarizes NEPA findings and documents the decision made.

For further information on the Environmental Evaluation , please contact:

Eva Birk, Environmental Specialist U.S. Department of Transportation , FHWA
Edmund S. Muskie Federal Building,
40 Western Avenue
Room 614
Augusta, ME 04330
Phone: 207-512-4921
Fax: 207-626-9133
E-mail:eva.birk@dot.gov

For further information regarding GSA's new Land Port of Entry, please contact:

Alexas Kelly, Project Manager, GSA, New England Region
10 Causeway Street, 11th Floor
Boston, MA 02222
Phone: 617-549-8190
E-mail: alexandria.kelly@gsa.gov

1/7/2021

This project was advertising for bids on December 23rd, 2020. MaineDOT is scheduled to open bids in early February.

5/17/2019

During the Public Hearing held on December 12, 2018, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), Federal Highway Administration, and MaineDOT provided a timeline for the availability of the FSEIS / Programmatic Section 4(f) Evaluation. At the time, it was anticipated that this would be available in the April timeframe.

Due to the complexity of the overall project, it was not possible to complete this portion of the process as initially projected. In order to ensure a thorough and complete evaluation of all aspects of the project are taken into account, the new estimated availability of the FSEIS / Programmatic Section 4(f) Evaluation, which will identify the preferred alternative for the Land Port of Entry (LPOE) and the new International Bridge, is targeted for late summer 2019.

News Releases

9/17/2021: Upcoming Night Work on Madawaska Bridge Project

MaineDOT

News Release for September 17, 2021

For more Information:
Paul Merrill, Director of Communications - 207-215-9297


MADAWASKA - The Madawaska-Edmundston International Bridge Replacement Project will involve night work for approximately two weeks. The contractor is planning to do excavation work from Monday, September 20th through Saturday, October 2nd. The work will begin at 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and end at 6:00 a.m. the following morning. Day work will also continue during this period.

This project is a collaboration between the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) and the New Brunswick Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (NBDTI). This work will replace the bridge that provides a critical connection between Madawaska, Maine and Edmundston, New Brunswick. The current structure is 100 years old and approaching the end of its useful life.

MaineDOT and NBDTI anticipate opening the new bridge to traffic by the end of 2023. Demolition of the old bridge is scheduled to begin once traffic is moved onto the new bridge. The estimated final completion date of this project is June 30th, 2025.

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6/8/2021: Madawaska International Bridge Inspection

MaineDOT

News Release for June 8, 2021

For more Information:
Paul Merrill, Director of Communications - 207-215-9297


MADAWASKA - The Maine Department of Transportation is conducting its annual safety inspection of the International Bridge between Madawaska and Edmundston, New Brunswick next week. The bridge will be closed to traffic between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. EST from Monday, June 14th through Saturday, June 19th. Detour routes will be posted. This inspection may also require an additional day of work and traffic closures the following week. This inspection had originally been scheduled for July. MaineDOT accelerated the timeline in anticipation of pandemic-related border restrictions easing in July.

The International Bridge has known deficiencies, structural concerns, and a rapid rate of deterioration that need to be properly evaluated annually to allow for continued safe use. Bridge inspections are performed during daylight hours to ensure safety, thoroughness, and the quality of the inspection.

MaineDOT and the New Brunswick Department of Transportation and Infrastructure are currently working on a project to replace this critical bridge. The $86.5-million construction contract was awarded to Reed & Reed, Inc. of Woolwich earlier this year. Construction has been underway for several weeks ago. We anticipate opening the new bridge to traffic by the end of 2023. Demolition of the old bridge is scheduled to begin once traffic is moved onto the new bridge. The estimated final completion date for the bridge replacement project is June 30th, 2025.

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4/1/2021: MaineDOT Awards Construction Contract for Madawaska-Edmundston International Bridge Project

MaineDOT

News Release for April 1, 2021

For more Information:
Paul Merrill, Director of Communications - 207-215-9297


AUGUSTA - The Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) has awarded the construction contract for the Madawaska-Edmundston International Bridge Project to Reed & Reed, Inc. of Woolwich. The construction phase of this project is the result of a productive collaboration between MaineDOT and the New Brunswick Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (NBDTI). This project also involves detailed coordination with federal agencies in both the United States and Canada.

This project will replace the bridge that provides a critical connection between Madawaska, Maine and Edmundston, New Brunswick. The current structure is 100 years old and approaching the end of its useful life. The bridge deck and superstructure are in poor condition and show signs of advanced deterioration. Since October 2017, the International Bridge has been posted at a five-ton weight limit, creating a significant detour. Furthermore, the existing building and site of the land port of entry on the U.S. side are substandard and need to be replaced.

The new bridge will be constructed on a new alignment: it will cross the St. John River at an approximately 45-degree angle and be located approximately 1,400 feet upstream from the existing bridge. Because of this new alignment, the new structure will be nearly twice the length of the existing one. The new bridge will feature wider travel lanes and added shoulders on both sides. There will also be a raised sidewalk on the downstream side of the new bridge. The new bridge will be constructed using steel girders supported on concrete substructures and is designed to last 100 years.

MaineDOT advertised this contract for bids on December 23rd and opened bids on February 24th. Three contractors (two in Maine and one in New Brunswick) had been pre-qualified to bid on this project. The two Maine companies submitted bids; the New Brunswick company did not. The low bidder was Reed & Reed with a bid of $86,532,251. This bid results in a total project cost of approximately $10.9 million more than previous estimates. This is a large, complex, multi-year project, and both MaineDOT and NBDTI have agreed to move forward with awarding this critical contract.

MaineDOT released the latest edition of its three-year Work Plan in January. Since the development of this year's Work Plan, the U.S. Department of Transportation has authorized the amount for the Highway Infrastructure Program (HIP) at a level $15.7 million higher than MaineDOTs original projections. This funding will be used to cover the cost overages on the International Bridge Project.

The total project cost will be $97.5 million. In 2019, this project received a $36-million Infrastructure for Rebuilding American (INFRA) grant from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration. The remaining costs are being shared by MaineDOT and NBDTI.

"The year-long challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic have laid bare the importance of the connections between Maine and Canada," said MaineDOT Commissioner Bruce Van Note. "We are eager to move forward with this project to greatly improve one of these vital connection points. This new bridge will improve safety and support economic activities on both sides of the international border."

"This international bridge is more than just a piece of infrastructure: it is an important link that brings communities and countries together," said New Brunswicks Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Jill Green. "This project will contribute to our priority of energizing the private sector by facilitating the movement of people and goods. This will allow our businesses to remain competitive while fostering economic growth in the region."

Jackson Parker, CEO of Reed & Reed, Inc. said, "Reed & Reed is pleased to be rebuilding this critical link between families, communities, and nations. We will be looking to hire locally as much as possible. We have a long history of building bridges for MaineDOT, beginning in 1928 with a $1,676 contract to replace a bridge in Hermon. We are excited to begin work on this project."

Construction work is expected to begin later this month. We anticipate opening the new bridge to traffic by the end of 2023. Demolition of the old bridge is scheduled to begin once traffic is moved onto the new bridge. The estimated final completion date of this project is June 30th, 2025.

Design and construction of the new land port of entry on the U.S. side is a separate project being administered by the U.S. General Services Administration.

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8/7/2020: Work Will Require Temporary Bridge Closure in Madawaska

MaineDOT

News Release for August 7, 2020

For more Information:
Paul Merrill, Director of Communications - 207-215-9297


MADAWASKA - The Maine Department of Transportation will be performing additional work on the existing International Bridge between Madawaska, Maine and Edmundston, New Brunswick on Monday, August 17th and Tuesday, August 18th. This work will involve use of a drill rig to collect additional geotechnical and environmental data to support construction of the proposed International Bridge. This work will require closure of the existing bridge between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. EST on each day. The sidewalk will remain open.

MaineDOT understands the impacts to the neighboring communities and appreciates the public's patience as we continue our collaborative work with our counterparts in New Brunswick to design and build the new International Bridge.

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6/8/2020: Madawaska International Bridge Inspection

MaineDOT

News Release for June 8, 2020

For more Information:
Paul Merrill, Director of Communications - 207-215-9297


MADAWASKA - The Maine Department of Transportation will be conducting its annual inspection of the International Bridge in Madawaska next week. This inspection will involve daily traffic closures to ensure the safety of both the traveling public and the crews inspecting the bridge. Drivers should expect closures between 7:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. EST from Monday, June 15th through Friday, June 19th. The sidewalk will remain open during the inspection. The bridge is due to be inspected in July, but we are doing the work in June to coincide with the current federal travel restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Accelerating this work by a month will minimize the impact on the traveling public.

The structure has known deficiencies, structural concerns, and a rapid rate of deterioration that need to be properly evaluated annually to allow for continued safe use. Bridge inspections are performed during daylight hours to ensure safety, thoroughness, and the quality of the inspection. The engineering firm performing the inspection, HNTB, is familiar with the structure and has performed a detailed analysis related to the loading of the structure. HNTB plans to use an Under Bridge Inspection Truck (UBIT). The UBIT will be placed in a manner to minimize stresses on the bridge.

MaineDOT understands the impacts to the neighboring communities and appreciates the public's patience as we work to keep this bridge safe until we replace it. The replacement project is scheduled to go out to bid later this year.

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3/6/2020: Madawaska Bridge Project Open House

MaineDOT

News Release for March 6, 2020

For more Information:
Paul Merrill, Director of Communications - 207-215-9297


MADAWASKA - The Maine Department of Transportation will be holding an informational public open house on Thursday, March 12th regarding the Madawaksa-Edmundston International Bridge replacement project. The open house will run from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. EST in the Madawaksa Middle/High School cafeteria at 135 Seventh Ave. in Madawaska. In the event of inclement weather, the open house will be pushed to the following Thursday, March 19th. This open house will provide information on the International Bridge replacement project and give the public an opportunity to ask questions and provide comments to the project design and environmental teams. There will be no formal presentation, and replacement of the U.S. Land Port of Entry will not be covered during the open house.

The Madawaska-Edmundston International Bridge is a critical connection between the communities of Madawaska, Maine and Edmundston, New Brunswick. The current bridge is nearly 100 years old and needs to be replaced. We continue to work with our partners at the New Brunswick Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (NBDTI) on the design, funding, and outreach surrounding this project.

We welcome public input. Anyone with questions or comments should visit MaineDOT's project website site: www.maine.gov/mdot/projects/madawaska/internationalbrg/.

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10/22/2019: Helicopter-aided Geotechnical Exploration in Madawaska

MaineDOT

News Release for October 22, 2019

For more Information:
Paul Merrill, Director of Communications - 207-215-9297


MADAWASKA - The Maine Department of Transportation will be using a helicopter to help conduct geotechnical explorations in the St. John River between Madawaska and Edumundston, New Brunswick next week. The purpose of the geotechnical exploration work is to determine the location and quality of bedrock in the river for the future placement of bridge abutments and in-water piers for the new Madawaska-Edmundston International Bridge.

The drilling project will begin October 25th and end November 27th, but the helicopter will only be used from October 27th through November 1st. The helicopter's main function is to transport materials. The steep embankments and shallow depths of the river make this air support necessary. This is the first time the MaineDOT Bridge Program is using a helicopter to pick up and place drill rigs on boring locations.

The helicopter activity will be west of Mill Street and north of Route 1 with a direct flight path to the river. The traveling public will not be impacted by this activity and the flight path does not cross over any occupied structures or public roads.

The helicopter belongs to CHI Aviation out of Michigan. This company specializes in aerial lifts.

MaineDOT is still working with our counterparts in Canada on the design work, funding, and environmental impacts of the new bridge. We expect to put the job out to bid in the fall of 2020.

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7/28/2019: Traffic Restored to Madawaska Bridge

MaineDOT

News Release for July 28, 2019

For more Information:
Paul Merrill, Director of Communications - 207-215-9297


MADAWASKA - Bridge inspection work on the Madawaska International Bridge necessitating full bridge and lane closures has concluded earlier then expected, and while the inspection will continue until complete, MaineDOT anticipates little to no impact to the traveling public through the remainder of the inspection process.

The structure has known deficiencies, structural concerns, and a rapid rate of deterioration that need to be properly evaluated annually to allow for continued safe use. It is currently posted at a five-ton weight limit. The bridge was constructed in 1920.

Construction of a new international bridge connection Madawaska and Edmonston, New Brunswick is expected to begin late next year with completion in 2023.

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