BANGOR, Maine — Maine Department of Transportation engineers will hold a public meeting next week to discuss two bridge replacement projects that could affect traffic flow in a busy area of Bangor.
DOT officials will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 15, at Bangor City Hall to discuss plans to replace the Ohio Street and Union Street bridges over Interstate 95.
“We’ve just started the process, but this is a way for us to get the word out that these projects are coming and to hear what the locals have to say,” said Steve Bodge, a project manager with DOT.
The state inspects bridges every two years, and each span is given a rating. When that rating falls below a certain threshold, the bridge is either rehabilitated or reconstructed.
Both Bangor bridges, which are parallel to each other about one block apart, are several decades old. The cost to replace them is approximately $3 million per bridge, Bodge said, with 90 percent of the funding paid with federal dollars. The rest would be split between the state and the city.
“Right now, these projects are funded for preliminary engineering only,” the project manager said. “The earliest construction could begin would be in October 2011, but we hope to have the design done by the end of the year and get back to the public.”
Since the two bridges slated for reconstruction are in the same part of the city, Bodge said, the projects would be done back to back instead of at the same time.
Bangor has seen several bridge repairs in the past couple years. Last spring, DOT announced a series of bridge projects totaling $14 million for Greater Bangor. The largest of those was replacement of the Hammond Street I-95 overpass, which cost about $5 million and is expected to wrap up next month.
Farther south, work was done on the Route 143 bridge over I-95 in Etna. That project, totaling $4.3 million, finished in November. Other projects included replacement of the deck of the Cold Brook Road bridge over I-95 in Hampden and reconstruction of the bridge on Route 2 over the Penjajawoc Stream.
Construction work also was completed on another interstate bridge in Bangor, the span that crosses over Interstate 395. That project cost about $2 million and included deck replacement and concrete abutment repairs.
Bodge said another bridge project is gearing up for reconstruction any week now. The Veterans Remembrance Bridge on I-395 over the Penobscot River will be refurbished, both on the surface and on the substructure. More information on that project will be released later this spring, but Bodge said it would certainly result in lane closures.