Maine bridge lost during Irene had design flaw

The Associated Press
Posted Aug. 31, 2011, at 4:49 p.m.

CARRABASSETT VALLEY , Maine — A bridge that collapsed as Tropical Storm Irene pummeled Maine had a design flaw that made it more likely to fail in severe weather.

Engineers were aware of the defect in the 53-year-old bridge in Carrabassett Valley and it had been scheduled for repair within the next year.

Department of Transportation Engineer John Buxton says a study of the failure may help prevent future failures because 129 state-owned bridges have similar design flaws.

The Morning Sentinel says the flaw led to support beams becoming unstable because of soil erosion during severe storms.

The bridge that collapsed was one of two bridges on Route 27 that crumbled Sunday afternoon.

The National Weather Service says about 8.5 inches of rain fell in the area Sunday.

Maine Department of Transportation construction crews are set to begin temporary repairs to a bridge on Route 27 so construction equipment can be brought in to help replace the two bridges destroyed by flooding.

Route 27 in Carrabassett Valley is currently closed to through traffic.

There is temporary access to the Sugarloaf ski resort through a series of private roads.

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Information from: Morning Sentinel, www.onlinesentinel.com

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/08/31/news/lewiston-auburn/maine-bridge-lost-during-irene-had-design-flaw/ printed on September 1, 2014