News Release for December 30, 2010

For more Information:
Paul Merrill, Public Information Officer - 207-624-3355 or 207-215-9297



Next week, the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) will post a weight limit on the Fort Kent International Bridge, which spans the Saint John River. The Fort Kent International Bridge is an international crossing that connects Fort Kent to the town of Claire, New Brunswick. The weight-limit posting will restrict traffic on the bridge to vehicles that weigh three (3) tons or less. The posting will go into effect on Wednesday, January 5 at 12:01 a.m.

The three-ton posting will allow passenger vehicles and light pickup trucks to use the bridge. Vehicles weighing more than three tons will be advised to seek an alternate route. The nearest location at which such vehicles can cross into Canada is the international crossing in Madawaska, 20 miles northeast of Fort Kent. On average, 940 vehicles a day use the Fort Kent International Bridge, with approximately five (5) percent of those vehicles being heavy trucks.

MaineDOT engineers recommended the three-ton weight limit due to the deteriorating condition of the outside steel beams that support the bridge deck.

The decision to post the bridge was made in consultation with New Brunswick officials after a team of MaineDOT and New Brunswick DOT engineers inspected the entire length and substructure of the bridge on December 14.

MaineDOT and the New Brunswick DOT are currently discussing replacement options for the Fort Kent International Bridge. The structure is a steel-truss bridge that was built in 1929. The bridge is 731 feet long and has a curb-to-curb width of 20 feet.