BANGOR, Maine — The Maine Department of Transportation has the I-95 bridge that passes over Broadway in Bangor on its priority to-do list for repair. Among the concerns, the concrete on the 60-year-old bridge is starting to crumble and the steel is deteriorating.
With more than 20,000 cars and trucks passing over it every day, the bridge will be replaced in the coming years thanks to a federal grant received by the Maine Department of Transportation.
"Right now we are designing bridges that hopefully will live for 100 years but certainly stuff that went in when the interstate system was first constructed back in the '50s and '60s is starting to get to a point where it needs to be replaced," MDOT spokesman Paull Merrill said. "Bridges tend to live by and large as long as people do. From that time they are reaching the end of their useful lives."
Merrill said the six-decade-old bridge is a top priority.
Merrill said that during the project, most significant closures will happen overnight to try to avoid as many traffic disruptions as possible.
The new, wider bridge will have more overhead clearance, 6-foot sidewalks, and lighting, he said.
It's slated to cost about $20 million.
Some nearby businesses including Dorr Lobster Seafood Market will be affected by the closure. Jayde Smith works at the market.
"A lot of our customers are tourists so when they come into Maine, or into Bangor, they want to experience the Maine lobster, the clam chowder," Smith said. "A lot of our sales during the summer, the spring, those will probably be affected because we won't have those customers with that easy access, where they can just see the store."
The DOT will start the bidding process for the bridge in mid-2023, and it hopes to have the project completed two years later, by 2025.