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Penobscot Bay Press
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News Feature

State of Maine
Originally published in Community News, January 30, 2014
MDOT announces work projects for 2014-16
Bridge work, pedestrian improvements and more

Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge work from 2013

Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge work will be returning this March, and then again in 2015, according to the MDOT work plan released this month.

Photo by Faith DeAmbrose Order prints of selected PBP photos.

by Jessica Brophy

The Maine Department of Transportation outlined its work plan through 2016 in early January. The work plan consists of more than 1,600 work items and projects performed over three years. The estimated value of the project is $2.02 billion.

For Deer Isle and the Blue Hill Peninsula, there are 11 projects on the docket. There are no projects planned for Castine.

In Brooklin, work will focus on improving safety, including pedestrian safety improvements on Route 175, beginning .14 of a mile north of Naskeag Road and extending southerly for .26 of a mile, with a price tag of $160,000. Those improvements are planned for 2015 and 2016.

A second project on Route 175 in Brooklin includes large culvert rehabilitation .10 of a mile south of Flye Point Road. That project is on the plan for this year at a price tag of $300,000.

Another large culvert replacement project is slated for this year in Brooksville, on Route 175 at .81 of a mile south of the junction with Route 176, at a price of $320,000. Also in Brooksville is maintenance work on Route 176 to improve drainage, including culvert replacement, shoulder work, and ditching beginning .04 of a mile west of Route 175 and extending 10 miles to .10 of a mile northeast of Bridge Road, at a cost of $154,000.

Another $152,000 is on the list for more maintenance and drainage in Brooksville, Penobscot and Sedgwick along Route 175. This work will replace cross pipes and do shoulder work on Bagaduce Road.

There is work slated for 54 bridges, including three in the area. For those who live on or visit Deer Isle—who spent the bulk of 2013 waiting in line to cross the Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge—it may come as some disappointment that the bridge is due for more work in the summer of 2015.

MDOT spokesman Ted Talbot said the work on the bridge will repair the remaining concrete substructure units at a cost of $3.5 million. In 2009-10, the two suspension span tower piers were repaired.

“This should be the last in the series of rehabilitation contracts for this bridge,” said Talbot. “For a few years, anyway.”

In a meeting in Deer Isle last year, project manager Stephen Bodge said that the cost to replace the Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge would be easily over $100 million. As the bridge celebrates its 75th anniversary in June this year, both Bodge and Talbot readily admit there will likely be more projects in the future.

The bridge work that took up the majority of 2013 is not yet complete, according to Bodge. Work will resume the first week in March and take about three months to complete.

In Stonington, a multi-year project will be conducted on the Oceanville Bridge, located 1.54 miles easterly of Route 15. This year there will be work done to strengthen the steel girders and the bridge will be permanently reduced to a one-lane bridge. In 2015 and 2016, there will be a study completed to investigate whether the bridge should be replaced. The price tag for both projects is $202,000.

In Surry and Ellsworth, there are plans for two projects this year, at a total cost of $870,000. These include paving of a three-quarter-inch overlay on Route 172 beginning three quarters of a mile west of the Ellsworth-Surry town line and extending northeasterly for 2.9 miles. The second project is another drainage maintenance project on the North Bend Road between Route 1 and Route 172, ditching and replacing culverts.

Some of the major works projects around the state include the replacement of the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge in Kittery, with a total price tag of $160 million, half of which is Maine’s responsibility. Other big projects include the replacement of the Union Street Bridge in Bangor and highway reconstruction on Route 3 in Bar Harbor.

Projects are chosen based on a number of criteria, including how heavily used the roads are, the safety, condition and service of each road. The plan states that local roads and streets—the responsibility of municipalities—carry only 13 percent of the statewide traffic but make up 61 percent of the total road miles in the state.