McLain Memorial Bridge dedication postponed

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A plaque for the Pfc. Buddy W. McLain Memorial Bridge between Peru and Mexico is shown on the Maine Department of Transportation website. A dedication ceremony originally scheduled for Saturday has been postponed because of construction delays. (Submitted photo)

MEXICO — Saturday’s dedication of the new Pfc. Buddy W. McLain Memorial Bridge between Mexico and Peru has been postponed because of construction delays, according to the Maine Department of Transportation.

MDOT Press Secretary Ted Talbot said department engineer Catherine Mettey initially thought Sept. 15 would work, “but shortly realized there was more work to do that would take us closer to the end of this month.”

Larry McLain of Mexico, who is planning the dedication ceremony in honor of his son, said he is disappointed by MDOT’s decision because he’s worked on it for months and spent $1,100.

The $11 million bridge over the Androscoggin River is a tribute to the Mexico resident who died Nov. 29 2010, while serving as a calvary scout in Afghanistan. He was one of six members of the Army’s 101st Airborne Division killed in an attack.

Talbot shared a recent email Mettey sent to stakeholders planning of the dedication, laying out three alternatives:

• Continue on Saturday with the events not on the bridge, such as a community barbecue and presentations;

• Reschedule the dedication when the bridge opens to traffic; or

• Combine the bridge opening and the dedication, which MDOT is willing to coordinate.

“We will continue to work with Mr. McLain and others to achieve the type of ceremony befitting the occasion,” Talbot said.

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