OXFORD — The new $3.1 million bridge on Route 121 at the intersection of Pleasant Street may open later this fall, but the project will not be complete until September 2015, according to Department of Transportation spokesperson Ted Talbot.

“The contractor expected to have the bridge substantially complete this fall, but even if the bridge is open to traffic in the fall, there much more side work to do on the bridge through September 2015,” he said.

The contractor, Reed & Reed of Woolwich, is currently working on the substructure, such as the abutments, while traffic continues over the existing bridge with minimal impact, Talbot said.

The new bridge is being built just upstream over the Little Androscoggin River. The old bridge was built in 1940 to replace a covered one. DOT officials have said it is considered structurally deficient but safe.

Residents at a Department of Transportation public hearing in 2012 said they would prefer the bridge be replaced rather than rehabilitated in order to widen it. They said the current bridge 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. There are no local dollars involved in any work, according to DOT officials.

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