AUGUSTA (AP) – The Maine Department of Transportation announced Thursday that it intends to hire Cianbro Corp. to strengthen cables on the Waldo-Hancock Bridge.

The cost of the project was still being determined, but previous estimates ranged from $3.5 million to $5 million, the MDOT said.

The agency said its goal is to complete the work before cold weather sets in.

The state last month barred vehicles weighing 12 tons or more from the 72-year-old bridge linking Prospect and Verona because its cables were deteriorating.

The ban has forced large trucks, buses and large RVs to make a 40-mile detour to Bangor to cross the Penobscot River.

Commissioner David Cole of the MDOT said Cianbro was the logical choice for the project because it was the only other bidder on a $5.3 million contract awarded to Piasecki Steel Construction Corp. for suspender and cable wrapping work.

Piasecki, which is nearing the end of that contract, said it was not large enough to take on the supplemental cable work.

The state has accelerated plans to build a replacement bridge, saying it seeks to complete the project in three years.

AP-ES-08-14-03 1803EDT

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