BANGOR, Maine — Repairs to the Interstate 395 bridge connecting Bangor and Brewer are scheduled to start next week and continue through October, a project that could cause traffic delays during the busy summer months.
The $2.4 million project, approved by the Maine Department of Transportation but funded largely by federal interstate dollars, will force crews to close busy on- and offramps for an extended period.
Bangor’s interim city engineer, Art Morgan, said the project would have a significant impact on a complex traffic pattern. Thankfully, he said, the project will be halted during the Bangor State Fair and the American Folk Festival.
During the first phase, which starts next Tuesday, crews will close off the westbound ramp from Main Street in Bangor to I-395. Traffic heading west will be diverted to Farm Road and Perry Road. That phase should last about a month, according to Meg Lane with DOT.
The second phase will involve closing the westbound off-ramp from I-395 to Main Street. Traffic will be diverted to the Wilson Street exit in Brewer and motorists then can reach Bangor using the Joshua Chamberlain Bridge, Lane said.
The project involves replacing bridge joints and other elements of the 25-year-old bridge’s substructure as identified by a recent DOT survey of span. 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.
CPM Constructors of Freeport has been selected to complete the work.
Morgan said drivers should be patient during the construction and follow all road signs closely.
In the past few years, many of Bangor’s bridges have been updated. The largest of those was the replacement of the Hammond Street bridge over Interstate 95. That project cost about $5 million and was completed last year.
A $4.3 million project to repair the Route 143 bridge over I-95 in Etna was finished in November 2009. Other projects included replacement of the deck of the Cold Brook Road bridge over I-95 in Hampden and reconstruction of the bridge on U.S. Route 2 over Penjajawoc Stream.
Later this year, DOT is expected to begin projects to repair the Ohio Street and Union Street bridges over I-95.
Additional information about the I-395 project will be made available on the city’s website: www.bangormaine.gov.