February 17, 2018
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Fort Knox to open May 1; bridge observatory opening delayed to May 24

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PROSPECT, Maine — The Friends of Fort Knox plans to open Fort Knox to the public on Wednesday, May 1, as scheduled, even though the opening of the Penobscot Narrows Bridge observatory has been delayed to May 24 due to the dismantling of the Waldo-Hancock Bridge.

Fort Knox will be open from 9 a.m. until sunset seven days a week, according to a Maine Department of Transportation press release issued Tuesday. 

When the observatory opens on May 24, normal visitor hours will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except in July and August when hours will be extended to 6 p.m.

Fun facts about the Penobscot Bridge Observatory:

  • The Penobscot Narrows Bridge is the only bridge observatory in the United States, and only one of four bridge observatories in the world.
  • The Penobscot Narrows Bridge opened on Dec. 30, 2006, and the observatory opened on May 19, 2007.
  • The bridge spans 2,120 feet from the east shore to the west shore, and there is 135 feet between the water and the bridge’s travel surface.
  • The bridge cost $85 million to design and build. This bridge was planned, funded, designed, permitted and built in only 42 months.
  • The top of the Penobscot Narrows Bridge is 447 feet tall. The observatory is 420 feet above the river and offers 360 degree views of the surrounding area.
  • The design of the Penobscot Narrows Bridge incorporates a granite theme to honor the significance that granite has in the local economy.
  • The Washington Monument was partially built with granite from nearby Mt. Waldo, leading to the design of the two towers in the shape of the Washington Monument.
  • The observatory floor is tiled in granite that was cut from a quarry in Deer Isle.