RUMFORD POINT — U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, will attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday for the opening of the Martin Memorial Bridge.

The two-hour event begins at 9:40 a.m. as Collins, Maine Department of Transportation Commissioner Dave Bernhardt and Rumford Town Manager walk the new bridge. MDOT press secretary Ted Talbot said Gov. Paul LePage will not be attending because of other commitments.

Following remarks from these officials, all three will receive scissors to cut the ribbon simultaneously at 10:25 a.m.

Talbot said Rumford Point resident Harrison Burns, 83, will ride in an antique auto that will be the first vehicle across the new bridge. With him will be his son, Michael Burns, a regional supervisor for MDOT.

Harrison, named in November as Rumford’s Citizen of the Year, worked for 22 years with MDOT.

Talbot said the ceremony was originally slated during the week of July 6, but it was moved up to accommodate Collins, who who will also be in Wilton that day.

He said contractor Wyman & Simpson was ahead of schedule on the project.

“They’re pretty much there. All that remains is some side work to do,” Talbot said.

He said the old bridge will be used during the ceremony, but afterward the new bridge will be open to all traffic. Work will then begin to dismantle to the old bridge.

In June 2012, Collins, the senior Republican on the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded a $5.2 million grant to the state to help replace the 57-year-old Martin Memorial Bridge, which had been classified as “structurally deficient” by the Federal Highway Administration. Maine state officials had identified it as their top priority for replacement.

A month earlier, Sen. Collins toured the bridge with Commissioner Bernhardt and local officials.


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