BANGOR – Work has begun on the Ohio Street bridge over Interstate 95.
The Ohio Street bridge was shut down Monday.
“We are tearing down the old bridge and building a brand new one,” said Paul Merrill, public information officer for the Maine Department of Transportation.
Merrill said this bridge was in place for about 60 years and that the MDOT inspects bridges at least once every two years.
“We can spend money and time to fix these bridges for — for years further down the road but at a certain point that time and money is going to be more time and money than we’d spend to just replace it,” Merrill said.
The project price tag is $5.9 million. Once complete, the new bridge will have about 18 inches of additional clearance for vehicles on I-95 and Ohio Street will have a new turning lane for motorists using the southbound on-ramp. The new bridge will be made of non-corrosive material.
“Bridge building has come a long way since the 1950s and 60s. So this one will be better, it should last longer,” Merrill said.
Detours around the Ohio Street bridge have been put in place and lanes on the highway may be affected by the new construction.
“We try to focus the majority of the interstate changes in the dead of night when there isn’t that much traffic but we are going to have some lane shifts and some overnight closures.”
Deconstruction of the bridge has already begun. The hope is to have everything taken down by the end of April beginning of May and have the new bridge complete by the end of the summer.
To see a map of the detours, visit www.maine.gov.