Naples bridge project winding down

A crew applies a protective sealant onto the surface of the Bay of Naples Bridge on Wednesday morning. (De Busk Photo)

A crew applied a protective sealant onto the surface of the Bay of Naples Bridge on Wednesday morning. (De Busk Photo)

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — All good things must come to an end.

After roughly three years of construction on the Causeway, the final few items on a punch list are being meticulously checked off.

According to Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) Resident Engineer Craig Hurd, crews should be completing those tasks over the next two weeks.

With a minimal list of work to be wrapped up, the construction project — referred to as the Bay of Naples Bridge and Causeway Restoration project — should be completed before the end of September, Hurd said.

The majority of that work is weather-dependent, and will continue to be done piecemeal, he said.

Hydro-seeding took place on the morning of Sept. 11. That work was done by subcontractor R.J. Grondin and Sons.

“There were a few areas where the grass did not grow” such as near the entrance to the Bay of Naples Condominiums, the area on the west side of Route 114, and some spots on the east side of the bridge where landscaping was done, Hurd said.

On Wednesday, a rain-free day allowed a crew to apply a protective coating to the concrete bridge that has already been in place for two summers.

Early next week, around Sept. 23 and 24, a crew will likely pave the driveways to Lost Lobstah and the home owned by Dick Dyke.

The construction project will be officially wrapped up once MDOT signs off with the general contractor, Wyman and Simpson, Inc., according to Hurd.

That is the case with most state construction projects, he said.

However, this Naples-based project has involved the community from the get-go, he said. So, it is likely that town officials and members of the Causeway Restoration Committee (CRC) will be present when MDOT and Wyman and Simpson representatives review the details of the contract.

The construction project began with equipment staging in September 2010. The real work on the new bridge began a year later — when the swing bridge was permanently closed to boat traffic in mid-September 2011. The Bay of Naples Bridge was completed well before a grand opening ceremony on May 18, 2012. The ceremony celebrated the transference of vehicular traffic to the fixed concrete bridge.

The day after the new bridge was opened to the public, Wyman and Simpson crews began demolishing the old swing bridge. The timeline was tight, because the construction contract stated that the old bridge could not impede boat traffic after Memorial Day weekend.

In December 2012, workers left the Naples site, and a small crew returned in April 2013 with a construction punch list.

When the demolition process occurred, crews salvaged the gears and other sections of the swing bridge.

At a later date, the CRC plans to construct a waterfall fixture which will incorporate the salvaged pieces of the swing bridge. Currently, the CRC has engaged an engineer to complete the blueprints. Additionally, the group will need to fundraise money to pay for the proposed waterfall fixture. That component was not part of the original contract between Wyman and Simpson and the state transportation department.

According to Hurd, by the end of next week, the road construction signs will most likely be removed from Route 302. The signs read, “Causeway open for business during construction,” and “Road work: 500 feet.”

“Legally, we cannot be working in there with the signs still up,” he said.

“So, those signs won’t be taken down until we’re done,” he said.

 

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