Erosion has caused a hole that exposed guardrail support beams on Trenton Bridge. Area residents that use the bridge believe the road is unsafe. Maine Department of Transportation officials said a temporary solution is coming in three weeks. ISLANDER PHOTO BY SAMUEL SHEPHERD

Bridge erosion causes concern

TRENTON — A large hole caused by erosion has exposed the metal supports on the guard rail on Trenton Bridge and sparked concerns that the road is unsafe.

A section of the guardrail is blocked off by construction barrels near the Thompson Island end of the bridge. The Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) said a temporary solution will be put in place within a month.

Bar Harbor resident Daniel Foster said Monday that the erosion has been a topic of conversation around town for two years.

“The breakdown lane is already compromised,” he said. “As the tide comes in and out, it gets bigger.”

He’s worried the erosion could lead to the road caving in and said he was frustrated by the MDOT’s response. The temporary barrier, he said, eliminates the guardrail’s intended purpose.

“The guardrails are useless at this point,” he said. “If something happened in a storm and someone hit that guardrail, they would go right through it.”

Foster wrote about the issue in a post on Facebook that was shared more than 200 times. He said he did not intend to be a hero with the post; he just wanted the MDOT to address the problem promptly.

“It would be easier on us locals if they did it now,” Foster said. “It needs to be done before June, or it’s going to be a problem, and they get a lot more phone calls.

Spokesperson Ted Talbot said Friday the MDOT has monitored erosion issues on the bridge for the last year.

“Within the next three weeks, we’re going to have a temporary fix that may involve some concrete to really shore up that guardrail,” he said. “That will really buy us some time to look out further for a more permanent solution within a year.”

“When the capital project permanently fixes this area, the guardrail will likely be temporarily removed, the bank rebuilt and stabilized, and the posts replaced to the correct depth,” Talbot added.

Talbot said the posts are still embedded 1-2 feet into the soil, and there is no imminent hazard with the guardrail.

Samuel Shepherd

Samuel Shepherd

Samuel Shepherd is a University of Maine graduate and a former Bar Harbor reporter for the Mount Desert Islander.
Samuel Shepherd

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