Route 121 bridge will reorient traffic in Oxford

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OXFORD — A new bridge over the Little Androscoggin River will change the flow of traffic at King and Pleasant streets, according to the Maine Department of Transportation. 

When the bridge opens next fall, it will connect directly to Pleasant Street, which is Route 121. Maine DOT Project Manager Steve Bodge said the move was intended to accommodate traffic flow, with two-thirds of all traffic crossing the bridge continuing onto Route 121 rather than King Street. 

Traffic to and from King Street will have to stop at a stop sign to get onto Route 121.

The new bridge will replace one that now connects directly to King Street. The old bridge will be taken down eventually.

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Clearing space for the new bridge meant sale and demolition of one property, Bodge said. Others are not expected to be affected. 

Crews from Woolwich-based Reed & Reed are working on covering the $2.6 million project for winter. Concrete pillars rising from the river have already been set and some steel cross-bars installed. A crane rests on an unfinished section of the new roadway. The project is expected to be completed next fall. 

The current bridge is considered structurally sound, though in poor condition. In 2012 residents said they would prefer the bridge be replaced rather than rehabilitated in order to widen it, because it is particularly dangerous for people walking across it because of its narrow width.

Eighty percent of the bridge work is being paid for by the federal government, and 20 percent is being funded by the state, according to Sun Journal records. The town expects to spend around $200,000 to install sewer pipes alongside in order to connect King Street with the proposed wastewater treatment facility near the Welchville Dam. 

ccrosby@sunjournal.com

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