St. Albans bridge in ‘serious need of repair,’ says town manager

Posted Jan. 12, 2012, at 6:51 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 12, 2012, at 7:52 p.m.

ST. ALBANS, Maine — The Maine Department of Transportation is urging the town of St. Albans to replace a metal arch under a bridge on Ripley Road that connects Indian Pond and Little Indian Pond.

Both the Board of Selectmen and the budget committee voted this week to move forward with the plan to replace it.

“The bridge is in serious need of repair,” said Town Manager Rhonda Stark. “If you look down, underneath the bridge, you can see where [the metal] is rotting away. The whole thing has to be torn out.”

Because the DOT classifies the bridge as a minor span — a bridge less than 20 feet in length — the cost falls to the town, said Jim Foster, a DOT bridge management engineer who inspected the bridge.

Stark said the estimated cost to have it repaired could be as high as $83,500.

“We’re hoping it’s less than that. We won’t know the final cost until it goes to bid,” said Stark.

She said the town has about $57,000 set aside for the repair.

There is no weight limit posted on the bridge, but that could change, said Stark.

Repairs won’t begin until spring.

“There’s a lot we can’t do until the frost is out of the ground,” she said.

The bridge would have to be closed during repairs, said Foster.

“They would probably shut the road down for two weeks to do that work,” he said.

Aside from the bridge repair, Stark said she also is eyeing a newer plow/dump truck for the town.

“We currently have three trucks [for plowing and sanding]. We’re looking to replace one of the older ones,” she said. The town will be looking to purchase a used truck in the spring.