HOULTON, Maine — The Gateway Bridge, which spans the Meduxnekeag River and connects Riverfront Park to Houlton’s downtown district, has been temporarily closed.
Problems with the bridge were reported to the town on Monday afternoon, when residents noticed several large spikes had fallen off, according to Butch Asselin, interim town manager. The spikes were placed atop the bridge to prevent birds from settling on the structure.
“The high winds we experienced on Sunday contributed to the problem,” Asselin said. “Another factor involves the plastic the spikes are set into becoming brittle over time due to their exposure to the elements.”
Several broken sections were removed from the walkway on Monday, but there are several other pieces still dangling precariously overhead, he said.
The bridge will be closed until a plan can be worked out to remove or reattach the broken sections and better secure what remains. The town is coordinating with a local vendor to provide a budget estimate to complete the work. The plan is to reopen the bridge as soon as possible.
“The spikes cover a substantial amount of area on the bridge, so it will take some time to complete the work,” Asselin said.
The spikes were originally installed by a contractor from Rockport in September 2009 for $5,600.