TREMONT — The Maine Department of Transportation has scheduled a public meeting to discuss the replacement of two bridges in town for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13, at the town office.
The Clark Bridge on the Tremont Road and the Marsh Bridge, known locally as the “Adams Bridge,” which spans the town lines between Tremont and Southwest Harbor, are scheduled for major work.
The Clark Bridge near the Tremont Consolidated School is slated for replacement. At a public hearing in June, project engineers said they were unsure if the Marsh Bridge would be replaced or repaired.
Attempts to reach the DOT for clarification were not immediately successful, but the notice for the Dec. 13 meeting states the bridge is to be replaced.
Replacement of the Clark Bridge was scheduled to begin this past summer, but the project was put on hold after bids for construction came in much higher than expected, sending engineers back to the drawing board for a lower-cost solution.
At the June meeting, Tim Bryant of VHB, the engineering firm doing the design work, said the requirement that one-way traffic be maintained on the bridge during construction drove up the cost. Along with developing a new plan for replacing the Clark Bridge, engineers thought it best to send the project out to bid along with the Marsh Bridge project to take advantage of the “economy of scale,” he said.
The new solution to replacing the 93-year-old Clark Bridge included construction of a precast concrete structure with a shorter span than the previous design. The bridge would be closed during construction, and a one-lane temporary road and bridge built alongside to keep traffic flowing. The temporary route would be on Acadia National Park property.
Bryant said at the time that initial discussions with the park indicated that getting the rights to build the temporary road would not be difficult.
Construction of the Clark Bridge is to begin in the summer and be completed in the fall, engineers have said. The final paving might have to be done in the spring of 2019.
The Marsh Bridge was built in 1931. Work on that structure will begin after the Clark Bridge project is complete.