NEW SHARON — A Freeport company expects to begin removing the 1916 iron bridge over the Sandy River soon, Peter Krakoff, vice president of CPM Constructors, said Monday.
The company was the low bidder at $346,764, according to the Maine Department of Transportation website.
“We are going to remove the bridge, probably, in 2½ weeks,” Krakoff said.
The MDOT notified New Sharon officials last year that the bridge, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, is in imminent danger of failing.
Selectmen decided Nov. 13, 2013, to allow the state to remove the bridge. Otherwise, the town would have to pay for the costs if or when it was removed. The town did not have the money to pay for removal, selectmen Chairman Maynard Webster said at the time.
The bridge used to carry traffic from the old Route 2, but was closed to motor vehicles due to cracks in an abutment more than a decade ago. A new bridge that runs parallel to the old one was built to carry the traffic. The old bridge was eventually closed to pedestrians as it deteriorated. Restoration efforts failed due to the high cost to repair the bridge.
“The New Sharon bridge will be lowered and dismantled,” David Doucette, MDOT project resident, said. “We have to have it out by March 21.”
The complete project doesn’t have to be done until July, he said. That includes doing slope work and erosion control.
The town has requested 200 granite blocks from the bridge that he will pick out, Doucette said.
Once the bridge is removed, a 16-foot guardrail will be placed at each approach, Doucette said.
Erosion control will be done, including riprap by the river, he said.
The other bidders were Stetson & Watson of Pittsfield for $371,457.50, and Reed & Reed Inc. of Woolwich for $456,525, according to the MDOT.