Keag Bridge replacement to start Oct. 2

By Stephen Betts | Sep 12, 2017
Photo by: Stephen Betts The Keag Bridge in South Thomaston will be replaced beginning Oct. 2.

South Thomaston — The 86-year-old Keag Bridge will be replaced beginning next month with a precast structure that will speed up the replacement process.

The scheduled closure of that section of road will begin Oct. 2, according to Maine Department of Transportation spokesman Ted Talbot. He said the contractor -- Reed & Reed -- has 35 calendar days to complete the demolition and replacement of the bridge.

He said there will be days before and after that period that the road may be reduced to one lane during work days, but it will be re-opened to two lanes when the work crews are not there.

Traffic will be detoured around Westbrook Street, Route 131, Route 1, the Dexter Street Extension and Buttermilk Lane, the MDOT spokesman said.

The waterway under the bridge will be closed to boat traffic for up to 10 non-consecutive days during the project. He said the waterway would be closed to traffic most likely during demolition and when new beams were being placed.

The new bridge will be constructed in the same location as the existing bridge.

The new bridge will be slightly wider and will have sidewalks.

The new bridge will have precast concrete abutments and superstructure, allowing it to be constructed very rapidly. The new abutments will be located behind the existing abutments, leaving most of the existing granite from the abutments as an aesthetically pleasing architectural feature. The existing pier will be removed, allowing for better hydraulics and boat passage, he said.

The contract completion date for paving is May 25.

Talbot said an interesting bit of trivia is that Reed & Reed constructed the existing bridge back in 1931.The bridge spans the Weskeag River.

During the closure, South Thomaston Ambulance Director Pat Dougherty reported, Rockland EMS will cover the town on the Dublin Road side, days and evenings, while St. George will cover the town on the Spruce Head side. "Our personnel will also be used," she said at the Aug. 8 selectmen's meeting. Per diem personnel will cover the town on the station side of town during the week, and Rockland and Thomaston will also be used for mutual aid calls.

Residents can stay up to date on the project by visiting the town's website under "Announcements," and see the latest MDOT report.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Reggie Montgomery | Sep 12, 2017 21:38

May 25 is a lot more than 35 days from Oct. 2.  I'm sure they can do it in 35 days though. They rebuilt the viaduct in Bath in only a few months, way ahead of schedule. Reed & Reed does good work in a timely manner.


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