KITTERY, Maine — What a difference a few weeks makes.
On July 23, the old Route 1 Bypass bridge was being demolished, and today, the walls are already in place for the new bridge, which should be completed by Aug. 26.
“All is well,” said Maine Department of Transportation project manager John Auger. “The project is on schedule.”
The only problem so far has been on Saturdays when summer traffic backs up on the Route 1 Bypass. Traffic in both directions is diverted onto the Memorial Circle. Town Manager Nancy Colbert Puff said motorists heading on Route 236 into the circle were not always allowing cars exiting onto the roadway leeway to get onto the circle. As a result, a Kittery Police officer — paid for by general contractor Wyman & Simpson Inc. — is stationed on Route 236 each Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“Other than that time, traffic is flowing smoothly,” Auger said.
The $2.8 million bridge-replacement project involves installing a wider bridge than the old one, as well as drainage work on Route 236. The project is being funded through a special federal transportation grant awarded for innovative solutions to highway projects.
The bridge is being built in 35 days, basically using precast concrete pieces that are fit into place. Wyman & Simpson will be charged $10,000 a day for each day over 35 days and will save $10,000 a day for every day under.