ORLAND, Maine — Traffic is flowing across the Orland River once again now that the new bridge on Route 175 has been opened to traffic.
Crews began work in August to remove the old bridge, which had deteriorated to the point where it had been included on the state’s Bridge Watch List. The new million-dollar bridge was opened to traffic last Friday afternoon, although crews have remained on the scene to complete some work on the sidewalks and guardrails, according to Maine Department of Transportation spokesman Mark Latti.
“The crews will continue to work through next week right up to Thanksgiving,” Latti said Wednesday. “There is still some work that needs to be done and that will require temporary lane closures during the day.”
Both lanes will remain open overnight, he said.
Crews removed a temporary sewer line running across the river on Tuesday and reconnected a new line, which has been attached to the new bridge. The line runs from Orland to the wastewater treatment plant in Bucksport.
The road across the bridge was closed in August as crews prepared the site and removed the old bridge. Key components of the new bridge were the five precast concrete beams that formed the supports for the bridge deck. Using two cranes, one on each side of the river, crews from Lane Construction installed the beams, each 88 feet long and weighing 80,000 pounds, in October.
The bridge is 86 feet long and the project increased its width from 24 feet to 28 feet, including a sidewalk on one side.
“It looks good,” said Orland Selectman Wayne Ames. “We’re more than satisfied with the job they did. And we’re extremely happy that the bridge is open again so we can get our businesses in the village back up to speed and people won’t be inconvenienced.”
Although the road is open to traffic, crews will return in the spring to lay a final coat of pavement on the new bridge, Latti said. That project will require about three to five days of work, he said.