DIXFIELD — Work began this week on the replacement of the Webb River Bridge that connects Mexico and Dixfield along Route 2. By the end of the summer, the new bridge should be in place.

Phil Pinkham, Maine Department of Transportation resident engineer for the project, said a temporary bridge to handle traffic during construction should arrive next week. It will be located on the upriver side of the existing bridge.

Plans are to maintain two-way traffic flow while the new bridge is under construction, he said.

The temporary bridge will carry westbound traffic, while eastbound traffic will travel over the existing bridge while work is being done on one section. Then, eastbound traffic will be detoured to the new bridge.

According to the MDOT timeline, removal of the existing bridge should begin sometime during the first week of June. All traffic is expected to be shifted to the new bridge by the end of September; then by Nov. 7, the temporary bridge will be removed.

The $2.8 million bridge replacement project is under contract to the general contracting firm of A.J. Coleman and Son Inc. of Conway, N.H.

Along with the bridge replacement will be extensive roadwork on both the Mexico and Dixfield sides. Most of that work will be done during the 2012 construction season, Pinkham said.

During the construction project, the town of Dixfield will also have the sewer main replaced under the new bridge. Rumford-Mexico Sewer Department users from Dixfield have their waste transported through a sewer main that has been attached to the underside of the existing bridge for many years.

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