PORTLAND (AP) — State officials are looking for a private contractor to take over the Casco Bay Bridge, which sees more than 30,000 travelers per day.

The Portland Press Herald reported (http://bit.ly/1PUfu42 ) the Maine Department of Transportation is seeking bids to operate and maintain the 18-year-old bridge.

A notice was posted on Wednesday. Bids are open until Nov. 18. If a contractor is found, it would be the first time the state has given bridge operations and maintenance to a private company.

Officials say the move would prove more cost-effective and efficient for the state’s taxpayers.

Officials with the Maine State Employees Association are questioning the public safety implications if the bridge is handled outside the government, as well as for the fate of the employees currently working there.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.