State to repaint Route 1 Woolwich bridge

Posted:  Thursday, March 8, 2018 - 8:30am

Maine Department of Transportation will seek bids this month for repainting the Nequasset Bridge on Route 1 in Woolwich. The state has estimated the cost at $450,000.

The heavily traveled bridge is near the Woolwich Municipal Building and spans Nequasset Brook. According to MDOT spokesman Ted Talbot, the work will go out to bid March 28 with three other bridges to be painted between May and Nov. 15.

Two-way traffic will be maintained at all times, Talbot stated in an email to the Wiscasset Newspaper March 7. The shoulders will be closed when work begins.

“Bicycle and pedestrian traffic will be detoured using the George Wright Road. Once the contractor starts the project it will take them about six weeks to complete the work,” he wrote.

MDOT’s contract calls for a temporary bicycle route around the bridge. Northbound bicyclists will be directed onto Nequasset Road near the municipal building and then left onto George Wright Road, which will carry them back to Route 1. Southbound bikers will follow the same route in reverse.

Talbot doesn’t anticipate the bridge repainting will prevent boaters and kayakers from passing under the bridge. The brook flows into Nequasset Lake that’s popular with fishermen and recreational boaters.

MDOT requires the brook to be protected during the work in accordance with environmental requirements. “We require 100 percent containment while the painting is being done. The work area will be encased in tarps and all material will be contained,” Talbot explained.

“To the best of my knowledge this is the first time this bridge has been painted,” he continued.

The bridge was built in 1957. Its pilings were reinforced with concrete sleeves two years ago at a cost of $140,000 to $150,000. The work involved shoring up the four piers supporting the steel bridge span.

The pier work and planned painting are expected to extend the bridge’s life expectancy another 50 years, according to MDOT. About 20,500 vehicles cross it every day, Talbot added.