News Release for July 21, 2011

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


MaineDOT, Norridgewock Celebrate Opening Of New Bridge

NORRIDGEWOCK, Maine -- Nearly 200 years after the first bridge crossed the Kennebec River in Norridgewock, a new bridge has opened in the same spot, and is expected to last for the next 100 years.

MaineDOT and the town of Norridgewock officially opened the new Norridgewock Bridge this morning at 11:00, culminating a process that started back in 1998 when the state and local officials first gathered and discussed replacing the deteriorating, narrow, concrete arch bridge that was built in 1928.

“This bridge is an important asset to both the region and the state,” said MaineDOT Commissioner David Bernhardt, “The bridge provides support to the local economy and it provides an important link with the surrounding communities.”

Local and state officials participated in a ceremony which included a ribbon cutting which opened the new bridge. The first vehicle across the bridge was an antique car from 1928, the model year in which the previous bridge opened, and a 2011 vehicle in honor of the year that this bridge opened.

The new bridge is an important piece of infrastructure for the region’s economy. Over 8,800 vehicles a day utilize this crossing over the Kennebec, with eight percent of those vehicles being heavy trucks. Route 201A is an important commercial and tourism route, with the bridge connecting a natural resource-based economy north of Norridgewock with the Route 2 corridor.

The new bridge is designed to last over 100 years and cost $22 million. It is comprised of nearly 1 million pounds of reinforcing steel and 24 million pounds of concrete. The bridge was funded by a combination of 80 percent federal and 20 percent state money.

The bridge replaces an aging, deficient structure that posed problems for trucks due to the narrow travel lanes and arch height. The old bridge had a narrow 20’ roadway that necessitated large trucks traveling one at a time over the lengthy bridge.

Over twice as wide with a total width of 48 feet, the new bridge features two 12-foot travel lanes, 4 to 6-foot shoulders, a 5-foot sidewalk and a 7-foot multi-use lane for bicyclists, ATVs and snowmobiles. MaineDOT also improved the intersection just north of the bridge, making it safer with improved sight distances north of the bridge where River Road intersects Route 201A.

Reed & Reed of Woolwich was the contractor for the project. Construction began in July of 2008 when crews started erecting a temporary bridge. Once the temporary bridge was completed in January of 2009, traffic was moved onto the temporary bridge, and crews began dismantling the old bridge. Once the sections of the old bridge was removed, construction on the new bridge began in the same location as the old bridge.

The new bridge has one 300’ arch span, which is similar to the old bridge which had four arches. The new bridge is nearly 600 feet long.