Topsham to sign agreement with Maine DOT for new bridge


The Topsham Select board of directors on Thursday authorized City Manager Derek Scrachansky to sign a municipal-state agreement with the Maine Department of Transportation regarding the potential replacement of the Frank J. Wood Bridge.

On April 11, Deputy City Manager Mark Waltz met with Topsham Public Works Manager Dennis Cox, Economic Development Manager John Shattuck, Deputy Planner Kate Burch, an MDOT project engineer and Brunswick officials to discuss the additional improvement costs required for the new bridge.

Under the agreement, neither Brunswick nor Topsham will have to pay more than the future improvement costs incurred in the signed document. All additional costs will be covered by the State of Maine.

The exact cost was unclear Friday morning.

While the Maine DOT will maintain the bridge itself, Brunswick and Topsham will be responsible for maintaining the parks on their respective sides of the bridge, including snow removal.

In 2018, Doug Bennett of the Brunswick-Topsham Design Advisory Board told The Times Record that parks on either side of the bridge would provide sites to honor the area’s history, including pieces of the bridge’s old structure. Frank J. Wood.

Topsham’s board said it is aware Maine’s DOT has considered environmental aspects regarding the zoning of coastal lands and is comfortable moving forward at this time. .

The Maine DOT is in the final stages of preparing to bid on the bridge replacement, Waltz said.

Because MDOT plans to build the new bridge so close to the existing structure, there will be temporary traffic changes, he said.

During construction, traffic on the Frank J. Wood Bridge may be limited to one-way traffic, for up to 89 days. Traffic flow will be from Topsham to Brunswick. MDOT plans to completely close the bridge for six nights from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

This story will be updated.

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