Decision on reopening Penobscot Narrows Bridge to be made Monday

The Maine Department of Transportation closed the Penobscot Narrows Bridge due to large chunks of ice falling from the support cable onto the bridge deck.  A decision to reopen the bridge could be made Monday.
The Maine Department of Transportation closed the Penobscot Narrows Bridge due to large chunks of ice falling from the support cable onto the bridge deck. A decision to reopen the bridge could be made Monday. Buy Photo
Posted Jan. 05, 2014, at 1:45 p.m.

VERONA ISLAND, Maine — A decision about whether to reopen the Penobscot Narrows Bridge will be made at about 8 a.m. Monday, according to the Maine Department of Transportation.

The bridge was closed on noon Sunday to let air temperatures melt the remaining ice off the cables and pylons, according to information posted on the MDOT website. The bridge was closed out of concern that ice falling off the bridge would damage cars on the roadway.

Crews will evaluate the bridge early Monday to determine whether it will remain closed for a second day, according to Ted Talbot, spokesman for the department.

The bridge was abruptly closed Sunday, Dec. 29, because large chunks of ice were melting enough to become dislodged from the bridge’s cables and towers. Some falling ice landed in the roadway and damaged at least four vehicles, according to police reports. No one was injured.

The bridge reopened the following Monday night as temperatures dropped and the ice froze again. The second closure is prompted by forecasts of a sunny Sunday and temperatures rising to a possible high of 45 degrees by Monday.

Motorists trying to get from Verona Island to Prospect will once again have to drive 40 miles out of their way to the next nearest bridge in Brewer.

The Penobscot Narrows Bridge carries Route 1 across the Penobscot River.

For up-to-date information and maps of alternate routes, visit www.maine.gov/mdot/.

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