TURNER — Work has begun on a new 480-foot bridge across the Androscoggin River, connecting Greene and Turner.
Contractor Reed & Reed designed and is building the bridge at a cost of nearly $7.4 million, said Catherine Mettey, a resident engineer with the Maine Department of Transportation.
The deck of the existing 462-foot bridge, built in 1937, was worn out.
"It's good for the community because the bridge is going to stay where it is," Mettey said.
The new bridge will begin and end just a few feet upriver from the existing bridge and will feature a gentle curve in the middle. It will have one pier.
The new bridge is scheduled to open in mid-2014, and the old bridge will be demolished and hauled away by 2014's end, Josh Marceau, a project engineer with the Woolwich-based contractor, said.
Workers from Reed & Reed have been at the site for about three weeks.
The bridge connects North River Road in Greene and Center Bridge Road in Turner.
Some traffic on the busy route is expected to stay open during the entire construction phase, Marceau said. At times, travel will be reduced to a single lane and flaggers will be posted at entrances.
The new bridge will be wider than the current one. It will feature two 11-foot-wide travel lanes and 5-foot-wide shoulders, wide enough to accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists, ATVs and snowmobiles, Mettey said.