STOCKTON SPRINGS, Maine — The bridge that carried Church Street across U.S. Route 1 is gone, a somewhat startling sight to those who regularly travel the route between Hancock and Waldo counties.
But the good news is that the new bridge is expected to be built on schedule and to be completed by late October.
The Department of Transportation and the contractor on the project, Lane Construction Co., believe the work won’t unduly affect tourists traveling to and from Bar Harbor.
Late this week, workers excavated down to the original footings both sides of the road. Next week, precast concrete mechanical stabilizing earth walls will be installed, said Guy Hews, DOT’s resident engineer on the project.
The 126-foot-long bridge was constructed in 1957, the same time Route 1 was reconfigured to bypass the small downtown. The bridge provides an essential link from the village to the school, and the new version — which will be shorter, with abutments closer to the road — also will include sidewalks for the school children.
When the bridge support members are ready to be installed, work will shift to the night, and travelers will be routed through the downtown and then back on Route 1.
The bridge had deteriorated to the point where concrete was cracked and began falling off, according to DOT.
The $1.2 million project is slated to be completed by Nov. 22, Hews said, though the bridge is expected to be open Oct. 21.