© 2022 Maine Public
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Penobscot Narrows Bridge has new crisis phones after several were discovered to be malfunctioning

crisis phones.jpg
Ethan Genter
via the Bangor Daily News
The four crisis hotline phones at the Penobscot Narrows Bridge were recently replaced with new models that officials hope will work better under the weather conditions at the bridge. Three of the four phones were recently found to not be working.

The Maine Department of Transportation has replaced four crisis phones on the Penobscot Narrows Bridge after several were discovered to be malfunctioning.

Spokesperson Paul Merrill says the DOT discovered three of the phones weren't working during a weekly check in mid-October. He says the phones, which previously ran on solar and battery power, have had connectivity issues due to weather but have been replaced with new models.

"They are hard wired in for power, so we don't have to worry about batteries acting up during weather. All four are operational, we continue to check them weekly," Merrill says.

The phones, which automatically connect to Maine's crisis hotline, were installed in 2015 after an increasing number of suicide deaths. The director of suicide prevention at NAMI Maine, Greg Marley, encourages people to reach out for help. The state's crisis number is 1-888-568-1112.