News Release for December 3, 2010

For more Information:
Paul Merrill, Public Information Officer - 207-624-3355 or 207-215-9297
Ken Sweeney, MaineDOT Chief Engineer - 624-3030



Editor's Note: Please utilize this version of the press release, as the earlier release listed an incorrect road as part of the detour. The detour utilizes Washington Avenue Extension, Blackstrap Road, Brook Road and Leighton Road. Thank you.

Starting Tuesday, December 7, the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) will post a weight limit on the Route 26/100 Railroad Crossing Bridge that spans the Presumpscot River Bridge in Falmouth. The weight-limit posting will restrict the bridge to vehicles that weigh 22 tons or less.

The posting of 22 tons will allow most vehicles, including passenger cars, pickups, school buses, fire trucks and other emergency vehicles to utilize the bridge. The 22-ton posting does prohibit heavy trucks from crossing the bridge.

Trucks weighing more than 22 tons will be directed to a detour that utilizes the Washington Avenue Extension, Blackstrap Road, Brook Road and Leighton Road. This detour is approximately .8 miles longer than the normal travel route. Trucks can also utilize the Maine Turnpike, which runs parallel to this section of Route 26. MaineDOT estimates approximately 350 trucks a day will use the detour.

MaineDOT engineers recommended the 22-ton weight limit due to the deteriorating condition of the steel structure and also to ensure the bridge remains open to most vehicles until the new Route 26/100 bridge is completed. The new bridge is currently under construction, parallel to the existing bridge, is expected to be completed and opened to traffic within 11 months.

MaineDOT has met with city and town officials from Portland and Falmouth to inform them about the posting. MaineDOT plans to work with trucking companies and area businesses to help minimize the impacts of the posting.

The Railroad Crossing Bridge was built in 1932 and is 834 feet long. Construction crews are currently working on the Railroad Crossing Bridge replacement. The new bridge is being built downstream of the current bridge. Once the new bridge is opened, crews will dismantle and remove the old bridge. The total cost of the bridge replacement project is $10.5 million. CPM Constructors of Freeport is the contractor for the project.