FARMINGTON — Bridge mats were delivered Thursday to Calvin Gray Bridge in Madrid Township to go over the top of a deteriorating bridge until a new precast bridge is made and installed in the spring.

Franklin County road supervisor Mike Pond. Courtesy photo

Franklin County commissioners voted to post the bridge to 3 tons of weight as advised by the Maine Department of Transportation on Nov. 3, county unorganized territory road supervisor Mike Pond said then. The weight limit was imposed because of the condition of the timbers underneath the bridge. At the same meeting, commissioners signed a contract for $57,000 with Dirigo Timberlands in North Anson to have a precast bridge made and installed.

The bridges are made in the winter and installed in the spring, Pond said. In the meantime, he explored options to get a temporary fix to ensure some vehicles could cross the bridge to get to the other side where two residences are located on the dead-end Calvin Gray Road. There is a person on hospice care that lives at one of the residences, commissioners were told Nov. 3.

The county inherited the bridge 20 years ago when the town of Madrid deorganized.

Pond said Thursday that he had tried to get a precast top to create a temporary bridge as a temporary solution but no one had any. Precast concrete takes 90 days to cure, if a new top was to be made, he said.

After initially telling Pond he couldn’t use bridge mats, Pond said DOT representatives changed their mind — knowing it was temporary. They gave him the name of a company that rates bridges for weight limits.

Pond was given permission by commissioners in October to spend up to $10,000 until May 1, 2021 on each road to get roadwork done. Since nothing had been mentioned about bridges, Pond contacted Commissioner Chairman Terry Brann of Wilton to get approval for the temporary solution on the bridge. It was granted, he said.

The bridge mats are made of hardwood logs that are 10 inches by 10 inches and 16 feet long and tied together in 4-foot sections, Pond said. Prior to being tied together, they are drilled through so they can be bolted together, Pond said.

The mats will be installed on Friday. Once that is done a company will come in and rate the weight limit. The bridge will then be posted to that weight, Pond said.


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