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Turnpike Info: 877-682-9433
 

Maine Turnpike: Thinking Ahead FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 28, 2017
Erin Courtney
513-2982
ecourtney@maineturnpike.com


Hallowell’s Winthrop Street Bridge To Close September 5 As Replacement/Improvement Project Gets Under Way

Maine Turnpike Authority Shortens Time Frame From 150 to 55 Days
 

HALLOWELL, Maine – The Maine Turnpike Authority has announced that the superstructure replacement project for the Winthrop Street bridge in Hallowell will begin on Tuesday, September 5 at 12:01 AM. 

The work includes concrete deck and steel girder replacement, concrete substructure modifications and repairs, approach work and paving, guardrail and bridge rails, and maintenance of traffic. The $2.6 million project will be completed by CPM Constructors of Freeport, Maine.  

For what would normally be a 150-day project, the Turnpike’s shrinking that timeframe to about 55 days, weather permitting, with a strategy known as Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC). 

The ABC process, promoted by the U.S. Department of Transportation, uses innovative planning, design, modern materials, and new construction methods to reduce the onsite construction time, dramatically minimizing the impact and inconvenience to local travelers. 

According to the Federal Highway Administration, the Winthrop Street bridge is just one of some 150,000 bridges nationwide in need of rehabilitation, repair, or total replacement. 

The bridge was built in 1955. In the six decades since, millions of vehicles have relied on it to cross over the Maine Turnpike. Its advanced age and the effects of wear and tear have recently become more apparent, and the Turnpike Authority has addressed several small sections of deteriorating concrete in order to prevent debris from falling onto vehicles passing underneath. 

Another shortcoming adding urgency to the project is the bridge’s substandard under-clearance of less than 15 feet. The new overpass will have an increased vertical clearance of 15.5 feet as well as an increased width of 28 feet. Replacing the existing superstructure also allows the MTA to build a safer structure that will meet current design standards. 

“The $2.3 million cost for the project represents an investment in creating a wider, taller, stronger, and safer bridge over the Maine Turnpike for vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians,” said Peter Mills, MTA’s Executive Director. “Given that an average of approximately 6,000 vehicles use the bridge every day, we are deeply committed to our accelerated plan to accomplish the replacement in less than two months.” 

The Turnpike Authority has taken several steps to alert the public of the pending closure. Letters to Winthrop Street residents and businesses were recently mailed. Roadside electronic message boards, newspaper and digital media ads, social media, and public relations—all are being used to notify travelers in the Augusta/Hallowell region.  

The official detour route around the bridge closure — to and from Winthrop Street, both west and east of the Turnpike, calls for drivers to travel along Whitten Road, Western Avenue, Amory Street, Capitol Street, State Street, and Water Street. 

Drivers should watch for detour signs and expect to take additional time to complete the six-mile detour. 

Weather permitting, the Winthrop Street Bridge will re-open on Monday, October 30, 2017. 

 

The Maine Turnpike Authority is a quasi-state agency created by the Maine Legislature in 1941. When the Maine Turnpike opened in 1947, it became the nation’s second superhighway and the very first to be funded exclusively through the sale of revenue bonds. While setting standards for maintenance and improvement, the Maine Turnpike continues to be a self-financed operation and does not receive funding from the state or the federal government. Because of its prominence and reputation, it has been designated a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The Maine Turnpike Authority thanks all motorists for their patience during Turnpike improvements, and as always, thank you for driving safely.

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