PORTLAND/SOUTH PORTLAND (NEWS CENTER Maine) -- The Veterans Memorial Bridge was dark for months and no one knew why, or who was in charge of fixing it. The bridge, built in 2012, connects Portland and South Portland. It sees tens of thousands of travelers a day, and is owned by the Maine Department of Transportation.
A few months ago a South Portland city councilor noticed the lights weren't working. Adrian Dowling says his constituents started asking him about it, too. So he reached out to the Maine Department of Transportation and was surprised to find out: it's not the DOT's responsibility.
"Even though Maine DOT owns the lights they have an agreement with the city of Portland for the Portland half of the bridge, and they have an agreement with South Portland for the South Portland half of the bridge," he said. "So you've got three different government entities who are trying to share responsibility for lighting on one single bridge."
"Those are the types of maintenance sharing duties we have with municipalities," said Ted Talbot of the Maine DOT. "It's very common."
So how did they not know?
Dowling said he e-mailed DOT several times over the last few months, but never heard back.
Talbot says that's because there was a problem with DOT's website, which has since been fixed.
Also, the director of Portland Public Works says his department was unaware it was partially their responsibility because there have been personnel changes at his department since the agreement was signed in 2011.
The lights were back on as of Thursday morning.