The old Brookside Road bridge in Somesville will be replaced by a concrete span this spring. The road leads to Brookside Cemetery. PHOTO BY DICK BROOM

Cemetery bridge to be replaced

MOUNT DESERT — The wooden bridge on Brookside Road, which leads from Main Street to Brookside Cemetery in Somesville, will be replaced this spring.

The construction contract was signed April 1, and work is expected to begin later this month. It is to be completed by May 25.

The bridge crosses the stream that flows from Somes Pond to Somes Sound.

The wooden bridge deck will be replaced with precast concrete sections. The project also includes installation of new guardrails, approaches and pipeline supports, according to Public Works Director Tony Smith.

“Due to the physical constraints of the site, there will be days that access to the cemetery side of the stream will be restricted to foot traffic only,” Smith said. “There will be a maximum of two days when the road might have to be closed to both foot and vehicle traffic while the new precast concrete decking is being set.”

Smith said the existing wooden deck supported by steel girders was built in the early 1990s. The new bridge will be able to routinely carry heavier vehicles.

“Of late, we have been made aware of heavy truck traffic and larger excavators using the bridge,” Smith said.

Brookside Road provides access to two residences as well as the cemetery.

R.F. Jordan & Sons Construction Inc. of Ellsworth won the construction contract with a bid of $97,767. The engineering consulting firm CES Inc. will provide oversight of the project for the town.

Funding for the bridge replacement was part of a $715,000 bond issue for infrastructure projects that voters approved at last year’s town meeting.

Brookside Cemetery was originally called the Somes Family Burying Ground. It is on part of a 100-acre parcel once owned by Abraham Somes, who, with his wife and four children and the family of James Richardson, were the first settlers of European descent on Mount Desert Island. The graveyard has been in use since the 1780s.

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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