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Rockport bridge work to enter design phase

Apr 19, 2021
Photo by: Lauralee Clayton Large cracks are visible in the Goose River Bridge. The Maine Department of Transportation says the bridge is safe as long as the weight limits are observed.

Rockport — Design work for improvements to the Rockport bridge will begin soon, according to Maine Department of Transportation Communications Director Paul Merrill.

Despite visible cracks in the bridge structure, he said it is safe.

"MaineDOT inspects the bridge every two years," he said. "It is currently safe for all legal loads. The last inspection for this bridge was in October."

Asked what legal loads are, he said, "The bridge is currently safe for all legal loads. Any vehicle legally operating in the State of Maine can use the bridge."

"The deck of the bridge is in poor condition. If the condition worsens, we will increase the frequency of our inspections to ensure the safety of the traveling public," he added.

The bridge is included in state's three-year "Work Plan."

"We plan to address its aging condition through either rehabilitation or replacement," he said. "Preliminary design for this project will begin soon, starting with a survey of the existing conditions this spring/summer. The project scope will be determined through the preliminary design process, which may take a year or longer and will include public process. Construction for this project will not occur for a few years."

Cracks are visible on supports for the Goose River Bridge. (Photo by: Lauralee Clayton)
The bridge in downtown Rockport over Goose River was rebuilt in 1951, after the previous bridge (the famous Iron Bridge) was knocked into the river in 1946. A temporary wooden bridge had been built in the meantime. (Courtesy of: John W. E. Felton, from the Walsh History Center Collection at the Camden Public Library)
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