TREMONT — The state is opening bids this week for a $3.5 million construction project that includes two bridges here.
Construction on Clark Bridge, which crosses Marshal Brook by the Tremont Consolidated School, and Marsh Bridge, located at the Tremont/Southwest Harbor town line, is expected to begin at the beginning of next year.
The Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) is seeking a private contractor who will be expected to complete both projects. Engineering and right-of-way are part of the project’s total cost.
MDI Senior Project Manager Leanne Timberlake said it is possible some preliminary work could take place through the end of this year, but isn’t likely due to holidays and weather.
“It’s possible, but it all depends on how fast submittals come in,” said Timberlake. “I think it’s unlikely.”
Once contracts are opened, Timberlake said it “usually takes about three to four weeks to assign the contract.”
Within the contract for the two projects, MDOT has specified that Marsh Bridge needs to be completed by June 21, 2019. That same bridge can not be closed to traffic for more than 60 calendar days, Timberlake explained. It also can not be closed to traffic from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend.
According to Timberlake, the Clark Bridge project was put out to bid a couple of years ago. All the bids that came in were too high, so they were rejected by the MDOT.
This is one of the reasons the projects have been combined, according to Timberlake. Scheduling two projects in one area, MDOT hopes, will reduce a contractor’s transportation and material costs.
Completion of the Clark Bridge needs to be prior to the start of the school year, either 2019 or 2020, depending on the contractor’s schedule, Timberlake said.
“The Clark Bridge will have a one-lane temporary bridge,” said Timberlake.
Once a contractor is chosen, a pre-construction meeting will be scheduled by the MDOT. That meeting is meant to include town officials, first responders and members of the public to gather feedback about the projects.