Bridge to be replaced in 30 days

 

The Crockett Bridge, off Route 114 in Naples, has deteriorated to the point of needing to be replaced for the public’s safety. The Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) plans to replace the bridge sometime next autumn. (De Busk Photo)

The Crockett Bridge, off Route 114 in Naples, has deteriorated to the point of needing to be replaced for the public’s safety. The Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) plans to replace the bridge sometime next autumn. (De Busk Photo)

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — The good news is that the typical bridge construction time could be cut by two-thirds.

“A bridge closure is usually two to three months. With today’s rapid construction techniques, it will take 30 days or less” to replace the Crockett Bridge, according to Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) Project Engineer Mark Parlin.

Parlin was one of three MDOT representatives at a public-input meeting that was held in Naples on Dec. 9.

Mostly affecting the towns of Naples and Sebago — the replacement of the Crockett Bridge will start in autumn 2016. The bridge replacement project is scheduled to go out to bid in April 2016.

The Crockett Bridge is located on Route 114 in Naples. The bridge crosses over the Muddy River on the north side of Sebago Lake.

Along with the consolidated construction time, the project will cost less, Parlin said. That is because a temporary bridge will not be built.

The “bad news” is the same as in most construction. There will be detours; and, those detours could be long.

People trying to access the Town of Sebago will have to travel into Bridgton via Route 117. Detours will be set up on state-owned roads, while towns will be responsible for posting load limits and establishing detours on town-managed roads.

The state project will require that vehicular traffic take the detours because for a time period, there will be no bridge connecting the road.

When it comes to road closures, the MDOT agreed to work with the residents, the Town of Naples and the bus department of School Administrative District (SAD) 61.

It will be necessary to plan school bus routes at the beginning of the year that fall in line with the detours planned during the month-long road closure, according to Andy Madura, SAD 61 Director of Transportation, Food Services and Facilities.

“Kids on both sides of the bridge ride buses to school,” Madura said.

Property owners near the bridge asked MDOT to keep them informed about closures to boat traffic so that personal boats could be moved at an appropriate time during the fall and before the water level gets too low for boats to be pulled out for the winter.

The new Crockett Bridge will be 80 feet long as opposed to the current 76 foot long bridge. It will also be wider. There will be a total width of 28 feet with slightly elevated three-foot-wide shoulders for pedestrians and bike traffic.

At the approaches to the bridge, some of the grade will be improved to make the road safer. Currently, an abrupt change of grade proves challenging for drivers.

Additionally once the bridge construction is completed, the new bridge will have a wider clearance for boat traffic. Most likely, the closure to boats will not total more than a week, two or three days at a time, according to MDOT engineers.

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