MACHIAS, Maine — More than 122 miles of paving and two major bridge projects will be conducted in Washington County this summer.
One bridge project, the replacement of the Southern Inlet Bridge on Route 191 in Township 18, will require the road to be closed.
Maine Department of Transportation project manager Steve Bodge said Friday that the project had been moved up from August to the third or fourth week in July.
“We are leaving those dates open for the convenience of the contractor and to account for weather,” Bodge said.
The bridge will be closed for 5½ days, he said. The closure will start at 4 p.m. on a Saturday, and reopen at 7 a.m. the next Friday.
“We have made pretty much everyone in the area aware of the closure,” he said, which includes the towns of East Machias, Machias, Dennysville and Calais, as well as the hospitals in Calais and Machias and the Emergency Management Agency for the county.
Bodge said local fire and rescue units have coordinated a plan for covering the areas north and south of the bridge.
Reconstruction of the bridge will include raising it 7.5 inches for a smoother ride.
The second bridge project is replacement of the Route 1 bridge between Princeton and Indian Township, known as the Passamaquoddy Bridge. Project manager Devin Anderson did not return phone calls for details of the project.
Paving will take place throughout the county, with major projects scheduled for Machias, Jonesboro, Whitneyville, Marshfield, Whiting, Edmunds, Roque Bluffs and Wesley. Much of the paving will take place along Route 1, in areas where little pavement is left, guardrails are completely broken and missing, and the shoulders have encroached into the travel lane.
Route 192 will be completely repaved, from Route 9 to the intersection with Route 1. Roque Bluffs and Kennebec roads are on the list, as is a section of Route 191 in East Machias.
Route 187 in Jonesport, beginning four miles north of Kelley Road, north to Route 1, will be repaved, as will Route 1 in Whiting.