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Replacement Topsham-Brunswick bridge going out to bid on Wednesday

2017-07-21 MDOT rendering - bumpout, roadway, bikelanes, sidewalks, railings & lamps seen from Topsham_edited.jpg
Maine Department of Transportation
A draft rendering of the replacement Topsham-Brunswick bridge.

The state will seek bids Wednesday for a new bridge between Brunswick and Topsham, after the state says has received final, federal approval to replace the Frank J. Wood bridge, now 91 years old and deteriorating.

Nina Fisher of the Maine Department of Transportation says the new span will have features the current one lacks.

"It's gonna be wider shoulders. We're gonna have sidewalks on either side, including some viewing bump-outs. This is a very picturesque part of Maine where you look and see the falls," she says. "People want to be able to walk down to the restaurants, and the parks, and the movie theaters and traverse it easily."

The state proposed a replacement in 2014, but the project was tied up for years in a legal dispute with residents who wanted the old bridge rehabilitated instead.

Fisher says work on the new span should begin this spring and should open to traffic three years after that.