NEWRY — Work is expected to start in July to replace the town’s largest and oldest of three Branch Road bridges previously deemed unsafe by the Maine Department of Transportation.
Branch Road is off Route 26 in North Newry.
Newry, which has been doing a bridge a year due to costs, replaced the Branch Brook span last year in a $134,545 project.
At town meeting in March, voters OK’d taking $160,000 from the Capital Improvement Account to fund this year’s project — Chase Hill Bridge over Chase Hill Brook. The project will be completed by Oct. 16, Administrator Loretta Powers said early Wednesday afternoon.
The third span — Paine Bridge over Paine Brook — will likely be replaced next year pending town meeting funding approval, Powers said.
At their May 17 meeting, selectmen opened seven bids and approved D. A. Wilson’s bid of $122,958, awarding the Chase Hill Bridge project to the Bethel contractor. Wilson also did the Branch Brook span.
Wilson’s Chase Hill Bridge bid, however, wasn’t the lowest as Anson excavator N. F. Luce Inc. bid $122,000.
“Selectmen went with Wilson’s bid, which was a $900 difference, because he had done the other (bridge) and they liked his work,” Powers said.
Wilson also frequently does summer and winter roads work for Newry.
The other bidders and bids were:
• Atlantic Mechanical Inc. of Woolwich at $141,754.
• Wyman & Simpson Inc. of Richmond at $144,930.
• Austin Construction of South Paris at $160,045.
• Technical Construction of Turner at $184,000.
• CPM Constructors of Freeport at $198,450.
Unlike last year’s Branch Brook Bridge project, which served several residents, both Chase Hill Bridge, which was built in 1923 and is 35 feet long and 17 feet wide, and Paine Bridge serve only one longtime resident — Cliff Akers.
Because Akers has told Newry officials that he can get to his property either by using his all-terrain vehicle on a snowmobile trail or in a round-about way using Skyline Drive, Wilson won’t be building a temporary one-lane bridge like he did on the Branch Brook project.
“Cliff is a very nice man,” Powers said. “He said, ‘Don’t waste your money on a temporary bridge.’”