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Hallowell’s Winthrop Street Bridge Project Wrapping Up and Reopening Days Ahead of Schedule

Maine Turnpike: Thinking Ahead FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 20, 2017
Erin Courtney
CONTACT: Dan Morin (MTA)

Hallowell’s Winthrop Street Bridge Project Wrapping Up and Reopening Days Ahead of Schedule

MTA is pleased to announce Winthrop Street bridge is now open

When Maine Turnpike Authority contractors began the replacement project for the 62-year-old Winthrop Street overpass their aim was to finish the job in 55 days. The project went so quickly that construction crews reopened the bridge just after 2:00 PM Friday afternoon, ten days ahead of schedule.

Modern bridge building techniques coupled with construction crews working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and weeks of warm, dry weather contributed to the speedy completion of a full concrete deck and steel girder replacement, concrete substructure modifications and repairs, improvements on the approaching roadways, along with new bridge pavement, guardrails and bridge rails.

“In 1994, the Turnpike Authority committed to a major, 30-year bridge rehabilitation plan, and we continue to get better and faster at replacing aged-out structures like the Winthrop Street span,” said Peter Mills, MTA’s Executive Director. “This new bridge will safely accommodate millions of vehicles over the next sixty years, possibly longer.”

Key construction and engineering companies who participated in the $2.3 million project included CPM Constructors (Freeport), VHB (South Portland), WSP USA (Eliot), Kleinfelder (Augusta), and S.W. Cole Engineering (Bangor).

“Professional bridge design firms like ours are adopting an innovative approach known as Accelerated Bridge Construction,” said VHB engineer Tim Bryant. “We’re taking advantage of stronger and more durable materials, prefabrication strategies, and advances in technology and equipment to finish bridge projects quickly and safely—in this case in roughly one-third of what had previously been the normal time frame.”

In addition to improvements and repair work on the Turnpike’s pavement, toll plazas, and its own road, river, and railway overpasses, the Maine Turnpike Authority is responsible for maintaining all of the 183 bridge crossings from Kittery to Augusta.

“We’d like to let the driving public know how much we appreciate their patience and understanding during the detour phase of this project,” added Mills. “The extra time they spent and the extra fuel they used navigating around our construction site constitutes their investment in their community and in keeping the Turnpike running smoothly and efficiently. They are more than deserving of our thanks.”

Mills also thanked Maine Turnpike customers whose usage of the toll highway financed the entire Winthrop Street bridge project as it does all of the MTA’s repairs and improvements.

Landscaping work will continue along the roadside for several more weeks, but as of Friday afternoon the new Winthrop Street bridge is now open for business and will be for decades to come.



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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